Author’s note: this FAQ ain’t being updated no more. Hope you find it useful.

_____________________________________________________________________________
          Marth Character Guide, for Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

    Table of Contents

1.  Prince Marth
2.  Playing as Marth
3.  The Sweet Spot
4.  Basic Moves
5.  Special Moves
6.  Marth vs Roy
7.  1-P Quick Tips
8.  Character Strategies [incomplete]
9.  Tips & Tricks
10. Revision History
11. Contact Info <REPEALED>
12. Credits


=========================
     1. Prince Marth
=========================

Marth is the hero of a Japan-only series called Fire Emblem. As the Prince of 
Altea, he was betrayed and forced into exile. Marth wields a divine weapon, 
the sword Falchion, and wears a flowing blue cloak.

Physically, Marth is quick, reasonably heavy and a good jumper. His swordplay 
is long-ranged and has relatively low start-up delay and recovery. Marth 
combines a powerful ground-based game with useful aerial sword arcs and good 
rolling and defence.

Being the quickest of the swordsman, Marth is an excellent character in one-
on-one battles: his sword provides thorough coverage against any opponent 
attacking from the front, and Marth’s sword range is enough to keep smaller 
foes at bay. Marth’s all-round good priority (i.e., his sword attacks will at 
least equal opponents’ own attacks) is another strong point. However, Marth 
is not accustomed to all-out melees, as he cannot cover his backside so well.

Another weakness is Marth’s mediocre horizontal recovery – he cannot jump 
from one side of the stage to the other, as other, flightier characters can. 
Marth’s lack of a good clear-out move like Link’s Up+B spin or Samus’s Screw 
Attack can also spell trouble if he’s caught in a pack. Moreover, Marth lacks 
projectiles and countering them is sometimes difficult, so he can have 
difficulties against characters like Mewtwo and Samus.

Nonetheless, Marth’s strengths easily overpower his weaknesses. Marth’s speed 
and grace make him an appealing and formidable character. In this guide, I 
try to cover most aspects of Marth’s gameplay, without going through general 
gameplay mechanics or 1P quests etc which are well covered through numerous 
other FAQs on GameFAQs.


=============================
     2. Playing as Marth
=============================

General tips. These will elaborated upon in later sections of the guide.

WHAT YOU’LL HAVE TO MASTER:

- Rolling behind opponents and whacking them. This is simplifying the tactic, 
  but really, when it comes down to it, you have to be able to make space for 
  yourself and your attacks. Marth rolls and hits quickly, and you have to 
  take advantage of this all you can.

- Placing. You always want to hit with one part of our blade, its tip. This 
  helps you gain power, and in the case of your aerial moves, damage  
  percentage and even spiking ability. You MUST know where to stand, and 
  where to hit, or you’ll get some fairly ineffective hits.

- Charging. You have to be able to know when a quick, uncharged (but 
  effective) smash attack is called for, and when you can afford to let 
  yourself charge for a bit. Marth’s hits can be powerful even uncharged if 
  you hit with them right, so you can have power AND speed.

- Following up. That is, you want to have quick reflexes and thinking. 
  Marth’s moves are fast, with generally low recovery times, so a relatively 
  weak swipe or slash can be used to hit an opponent slightly upwards, and 
  then a forward smash (or similar move, depending on the circumstances) 
  tacked on straight afterwards. As long as you don’t charge the forward 
  smash, it’ll come out surprisingly quickly, and if you get your placement 
  right it will still be very powerful. Most of your moves can follow one 
  another very well, so you can use a similar strategy fairly often.

- Jumping. Marth doesn’t have the best aerial comeback, so you’ll have to be  
  able to eke the most distance out of his jumps and recovery moves. You also  
  have to be able to use Marth’s aerial hits effectively – these are small 
  swipes, but they rack up damage very quickly, and they’re quite usable. If 
  you don’t like the idea of balanced air and ground attacks (e.g. you’d 
  rather have some really strong, slow attacks and some quicker, weaker 
  attacks instead of fairly good attacks all-round) then Marth’s not for you.

- countering and dodging. Marth doesn’t have projectiles, so you have to be 
  able to roll and especially dodge/air-dodge past them. You should also 
  learn to use your Down+B Counter move against projectiles and whatever   
  moves you see coming.

- Anticipating. Marth’s moves have fairly long durations (because he often 
  swings his blade right around his body), and so you can execute them in 
  anticipation of opponents’ attacks (before they even come out). For 
  example, you can parry (this is discussed in more detail in the Tips & 
  Tricks section). Parrying means using weak attacks to counter opponents’ 
  attacks – because of your moves’ long durations, you can start them ahead 
  of time, counter whatever moves are thrown at you, and then use your 
  relatively fast recovering (we used a weak attack, remember) to escape or 
  attack.

WHAT YOU’LL HAVE TO BEWARE OF:

- Projectiles. They are extremely annoying – try to jump or roll through 
  them, or parry (see Tips & Tricks). You can use your Counter move to, er, 
  counter them, but that’s not always effective as some projectiles can eat 
  through your Counterstroke.

- Your weight. You are reasonably heavy, but not in the same league as 
  Bowser, DK, Ganondorf and Link. You can get hit a fair way, and your 
  horizontal recovery is mediocre.

- Marth is actually surprisingly vulnerable to well-timed grabs. That’s why  
  rolling comes in handy.

- Big Melees and Coin battles. Marth doesn’t protect his back very well, and 
  moves that do protect him often have high recovery times. Try not to get 
  involved in big fights unless absolutely necessary, and in these 
  situations, you have to be careful of getting knocked into the middle of 
  things. Coin fights invariably turn into melees since everyone rushes 
  around. Your speed helps you in collecting coins, but Marth doesn’t care 
  for the whole melee aspect of it, and he doesn’t have many moves that 
  release lots and lots of coins (a charged Shield Breaker is good, but it’s 
  hard to find an opportunity to use it against humans). This isn’t to say 
  that a well-played Marth can’t handle melees, though – on the contrary, you 
  can do very well, if you stay cool and know what you’re doing.

- Giant and Tiny Melee modes. In Giant Melee, you will have a HUGE reach, but 
  opponents will be harder to knock off, and your recovery will be poor. 
  These two points pretty much cancel each other out. The situation isn’t as 
  good in Tiny Melee. You don’t seem as fast and lithe any more, since most 
  characters are nice and small and nimble; your long reach is less  
  effective, and your moves much weaker; and projectiles play a bigger part! 
  (They also tend to be bigger than the characters themselves =O) At least 
  your Up+B recovery move is now much more useful, and your aerial moves and 
  jumping abilities are strong.

WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT:

- Priority. Marth’s attacks all have fairly high priority, so you usually 
  won’t be the loser if you and your opponent both strike at the same time. 
  The heavyweights like Link or Ganondorf can give you trouble, though, but 
  they’re the exception to the rule. You have a speed and range advantage 
  over them, which balances things.

- Offence. What I mean is, Marth is strong enough and deals enough damage 
  that you can usually kill opponents without having to fight for too long. 
  Marth’s not one of those characters who relies on team members for help.

- One-on-one battles and Stock battles. Marth’s precise strokes and good 
  power/endurance help him in these situations. Marth is fairly good at timed 
  battles as well, if you can try and single out opponents and not get too 
  hurried. You have to pace yourself, despite your good speed, because 
  placement and timing always count. A flurry of hits that aren’t well placed 
  won’t do a whole lot.

WHAT YOU’LL HAVE TO EXPLOIT:

- Your speed. Marth runs like the wind.

- Your power with the tip of your blade. OUCH.

- Your versatility – you can Counter attacks, you have a powerful, versatile 
  four-hit combo, and you have generally fast moves that can be charged if 
  necessary.

WHO WOULD LIKE MARTH?

- Players with good timing on their moves, and who can anticipate. A button-
  masher will be disappointed since Marth’s moves don’t work that way.

- Players who tend to be aggressive and like fluid play mixed with good 
  defence, where necessary. Players who are totally hit-and-run, or prefer
  more defensive characters, won’t be as fitting.

- Players who prefer A-moves to B-moves. Marth’s B-moves (his specials) are 
  good, but you won’t win matches solely on them. His Shield Breaker is nice 
  and powerful, but only idiots will fall for it.

- Players who like close-in fighting. Marth’s main advantage is that he 
  fights ‘close-in’, but he has the longest range of any swordsman or similar 
  fighter. With his range and speed, he’s always a threat, and with the right 
  move placement he can be just as powerful as Roy.


===========================
     3. The Sweet Spot
===========================

Before we go into the basic moves, I have to mention...The Sweet Spot! This 
can be the difference between an ordinary hit and a powerful, knockout blow, 
and constantly comes into play.

Both Marth and Roy have a sweet spot on their blade; if you hit an opponent 
with the sweet spot, you’ll do more damage and the opponent will be launched 
MUCH farther. For example, a moderately heavy opponent can take ages to kill 
if you’re just hitting with Marth’s blade normally; if you can get a sweet 
hit in, you’ll kill your opponent at fairly low levels (80% damage maybe) or 
at least launch him/her far enough for you to attempt an edge guard or spike.

Marth’s sweet spot is at the very TIP of his blade. Some players think Marth 
plays like Link and so they try to time and position attacks to hit opponents 
with the middle of the blade; these people are inevitably disappointed by 
Marth’s mediocre power. However, if you distance yourself from your opponent 
and hit him right with the end of your blade’s path, you’ll get a taste of 
Marth’s true power. When playing against a team you might find it hard to hit 
all of your opponents sweetly, so take one at a time.

The sweet spot is prominent in Marth’s forward and upward smashes. If you 
place them correctly, the sound of the blade hitting your opponent will 
change from a standard *smack* to an ominous, deep *boom*. With your 
downwards smash and most other attacks (like your aerials and strong (tilt) 
attacks), the sweet spot still comes into play, and these moves will also 
have their damage and power increased if you hit with the tip of your blade. 
The sounds are different in these cases, though; instead of a bass drum 
sound, there’ll be a very sharp *smack*.

If you’re doing any attack where the sweet spot comes into play (which is 
pretty much any A-button move where Marth extends his blade outward), try and 
hit with the tip of your blade as it provides good practice for sweet-hitting 
those important smashes later on. The forward and upward strong attacks (just 
tilt the control stick, don’t tap) as well as the downwards smash are 
especially good because Marth extends his sword fully during these attacks, 
so you can have a look at exactly where his sweet spot is and get used to 
where (and when) you must hit an oncoming opponent. Also, unlike Marth’s 
forward smash, which can hit opponents in a wide arc, these three moves are 
fairly fixed and force you to get your placing very exact. Good practice. The 
moves are also good in and of themselves, too, which is an extra bonus =D.

========================
     4. Basic Moves
========================

This section and the next (Special Moves) are meant to be a fairly 
comprehensive guide to Marth’s moves. I’ll describe each move and comment on 
its usefulness in general and what situations it would work well in. I’ve 
also listed damage figures for each move. All damage figures are as accurate 
as I could make them (it took me quite a while in Training Mode, actually) 
and where appropriate I’ve listed different values for ‘regular’ and ‘sweet’ 
hits. Since Marth’s blade’s damage figure varies gradually from tip to hilt, 
there will always be some variation, so keep that in mind. To complicate all 
this, a move’s damage and power increase as you charge it (this only applies 
to smash attacks and Marth’s B move). For all such moves, I've listed a range 
of damage - from totally uncharged to fully charged.

Remember that all damage figures represent maximum damage – if you use a move 
repeatedly within a short time span, its damage figure will decrease by 
around 10% each time. Also, for certain moves the damage and power will 
decrease over time. For example, the Dolphin Slash does a maximum of 13% 
damage and has fair power, but this can vary widely depending on how early on 
you hit the opponent. Some other moves are like this as well – I’ll note 
anything like this in the move description. Marth’s forward and upward 
smashes have constant power throughout their duration (only positioning is 
important) as do most other moves, so don’t worry too much about your timing. 
Again, Marth is not like Link where the middle of the move’s duration is 
usually the strongest.

A quick note about terminology - when I write out a control stick direction 
plus the A-button (for example, ‘Forward+A’) I’ll always be referring to the 
ground smash attack unless otherwise noted. So if I want to talk about 
Marth’s aerial forward slash, I’ll write ‘Forward+A aerial’. An attack that 
requires only a tilt (not a smash) of the control stick will be written as 
‘Forward+A (strong)’. If all I write is ‘Forward+A’, you can assume I’m 
talking about his ground move, the Dragon Slayer. Just so ya know. The B 
button moves are pretty self-explanatory.

A last note...there is a difference between a move’s ‘damage’ and its 
‘power’. Damage refers to how many percent damage an opponent incurs if 
he/she is hit by a move, while power refers to how far an opponent is hit. 
While the power is usually proportional to the damage, and vice versa, this 
is not always true – for example, Marth’s Counter hits the opponent fairly 
far for a move that only deals 7% damage. The inverse applies for Marth’s 
Up+A move, although you can increase its power by getting a sweet hit.

Okay. I think that’s it =D. Let’s start.

--------------------------
   Non-A/B button moves
--------------------------

Note: these moves can be done by all characters, although their properties 
will vary from character to character.

=== Shield ~ Hold L/R ===

Marth puts his shield up. You’ll now be immune to everything except throws 
and grabbing moves (Ganondorf and Falcon’s Up+B’s, Kirby’s Swallow, Yoshi’s 
Egg Lay, etc.). You can tilt (don’t tap, that’ll make you roll or dodge) the 
control stick while shielding to move it around – useful if you need to 
protect one side of your body. The shield’s size will go down as you’re hit, 
and it will also naturally decrease over time; if your shield becomes too 
small, it’ll break, and you’ll become shield broken. In other words, you’ll 
be totally screwed. Mash the buttons to get out of this dizzy state and pray 
that your opponent isn’t, say, Ganondorf or Bowser.

There are a few nifty things about the shield. For one thing, you can pull 
out a larger, longer-lived but weaker shield if you put less pressure on the 
L/R button or if you use the shield that automatically comes up after you 
throw. These ‘light’ shields offer good coverage of your body (useful against 
projectiles and such) but the downside is that stronger attacks will result 
in you being knocked back further and there will be more shield stun. 
Personally I find these light shields not worth the effort. 

Also, if you shield at the exact time that an attack hits you, you can either 
reflect it (if it’s a projectile) or you can reduce shield stun and shield 
usage (if it’s a physical attack – you’ll know if you’ve successfully pulled 
this off because you will flash and the attack will just glance off you). 
This is known as powershielding and is very useful – however, it’s hard to 
time and it takes a lot of practice, especially with physical attacks. If you 
need practice, try playing against Falco on Final Destination and have a go 
at powershielding against his lasers. Don’t pick Fox because he fires so 
fast, it’s hard to see what’s happening. After a while you should get a bit 
better at powershielding, although it’s one thing to be able to do it in 
Training Mode, and quite another to be able to use this effectively in a real 
game. I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t do the latter.

If your timing with the shield is almost good enough for a powershield but 
just a little lacking, you’ll get what I call a half-powershield, which is 
where your shield fuzzes a little bit. This won’t reflect projectiles or 
reduce shield stun, but it will make for a larger, stronger shield while it’s 
fuzzy, which is useful. You can pull off half-powershields on a regular basis 
if you practice.

NOTE: I’m not sure about the true function of the fuzzy, half-powershield. If 
anyone has further details or corrections, please tell me!
NOTE2: If I write ‘block’, I mean ‘shield against’. It’s just a habit of mine 
to write ‘block’ a lot...so, yeah.

=== Roll ~ Shield, then tap Left/Right ===

Marth will roll quickly in the direction pressed. Holding Z throughout the 
roll will make you shield immediately after you’ve has finished rolling. 
Handy for getting out of tight situations. Rolling is absolutely crucial in 
close games, especially if you’re fighting multiple opponents (you have to 
make some space for Marth’s sword, and rolling is a good way to do it). 
Marth’s roll is nice in that it’s fairly quick, but gives him a good deal of 
distance.

=== Dodge ~ Shield, then tap Down ===

This is a handy move that’s new in Melee. Marth does a quick evasive 
manoeuvre, flashing during the dodge. This basically makes you immune from 
all attacks – even throws! – for a short period of time. The downside is that 
the dodge doesn’t last very long, and there’s a little period of recovery 
time after you’ve done it during which the opponent can have a go at you, so 
be careful and use this sparingly. It’s handy, though, as a way of cancelling 
anything that your opponent throws at you, at which point you can counter-
attack. The crucial point is that you must have your timing down pat.

=== Air Dodge ~ L/R + Control Stick, air only ===

While you’re in the air, you can tap L or R to perform an air dodge, which is 
similar to the regular dodge. You can move the control stick right before 
pressing L or R to make the character dodge in a particular direction (even 
upwards, defying gravity) but after you dodge you will fall back down to the 
ground as you would after an Up+B recovery move. In a way, an air dodge is 
similar to an Up+B move, in that it’s quite useful, but if you’re not careful 
you can get nailed while falling down because you’re totally open and can’t 
do any other attacks. Hence you should only dodge at moderate heights – don’t 
do it at the top of an arena because you’ll be falling and vulnerable 
forever.

As with an Up+B move, if you’re hit while falling after an air dodge then you 
won’t be able to do anything except your Up+B move (or another air dodge) 
until you hit the ground. Be careful when you’re around the edges of the 
stage, and don’t mash buttons in the air unless you want to dodge at the 
wrong time and self-destruct by falling off the edge.

=== Recover ~ tap L/R right before you hit the ground ===

If you’ve been hit pretty hard by an attack and are flying through the air, 
tap L or R right before you hit the ground and you’ll execute a quick 
recovery flip. Pressing L/R and tapping the control stick will make you 
recover => roll, although you have to make sure your timing is good. 
Recovering is very handy for getting back on your feet as quickly as possible 
and blocking against subsequent moves made by the aggressor. A quick, nimble 
recover => roll can also put extra distance between you and your opponent; 
alternately it can surprise an opponent if you roll into him/her instead of 
away.

If you’re hit into a wall or a similar structure, you can recover by pressing 
L or R right as you hit it. If you do this, Marth will spring off the wall 
and right himself immediately, instead of hitting the wall and tumbling down. 
By wall-recovering, you can also stop most of Marth’s momentum, which can be 
handy if you think you’re about to get flung off the edge. You need a quick 
eye to be able to pull this off, but it becomes fairly routine once you get 
used to it.

You can go further with wall recovering by turning your wall recovers into 
wall springs. Just press L/R + Up+Away (by ‘Away’, I mean in the opposite 
direction from which you were travelling before, so if you’re hit into a wall 
going left, press Right) as you hit the wall and your character will recover 
with more than just a little bounce off the wall. You’ll spring (it’s almost 
like a jump) off the wall instead. Handy for getting yourself some extra 
mobility and perhaps surprising your opponents. Wall-recovering and wall-
springing are very important when playing in arenas with lots of structures 
and walls – they’re excellent ways of extending your life (remember, your 
momentum is decreased significantly so your flight will be cut short) and 
also making sure that you land on your feet after a nasty hit so your 
opponent can’t get to you as easily.

If you don’t recover after being knocked, you’ll fall onto the ground in an 
unsightly heap. Don’t fret; you can’t make a quick move any more (since you 
didn’t insta-recover), but you can still surprise your opponent. Press A or B 
while you’re lying on the ground to get up with a sword slash that’ll fend 
off anyone who’s too close. If you press L/R instead, you’ll slowly get up, 
while pressing Left or Right on the control stick will make you roll to one 
direction and then get up. All of these recovery actions are useful in that 
you’re invincible for the duration of them (kind of like a standard roll) and 
they will usually prevent someone from attacking you during that time.

If you have knocked down an opponent, don’t go in right away, because you’ll 
either get hit, or your opponent will evade you. Try and hit an opponent 
before he/she does a recovery (keep the pressure up, and beware of an insta-
recover which can turn the tables), or just back away. Ground-recovers are 
annoying, but very helpful if you’re the one doing them.

=== Air-Cancel ~ Press L/R before you land after an aerial attack ===

This isn’t too useful with Marth, as the only attack that really needs to be 
air-cancelled is his Down+A slash, but I might as well mention it. What is 
air-cancelling? Well, as you land after a executing an aerial move, you will 
notice some recovery time as Marth bends his knees and reverts back to his 
usual stance. If you press L or R (you have to press it down all the way) 
about a quarter-second before you land, you’ll cut this air-to-ground 
transition time in half by cancelling (or speeding up) your recovery 
movements.

Air cancelling, also known as L-cancelling, is much more noticeable with the 
likes of Link and Fox, but it’s still useful with Marth (see Combos, in the 
Tips and Tricks section, for more details). For example, you can surprise an 
opponent by coming down with a quick Down+A downwards-aerial stroke and then 
cancelling it. Your opponent may well expect a fair bit of recovery time, so 
he’ll be surprised when you quickly recover and launch an attack!

=== Grab ~ L/R + A (or Z) ===

Marth quickly grabs onto an opponent and prepares to throw (see below). Grabs 
are unblockable and the only way to avoid them is to dodge or roll out of the 
way. Marth’s grab is very good – fast, with surprising range. Grabbing while 
dashing increases Marth’s range further. Use grabs whenever you’re on the 
back foot (you’re blocking, for example) and want to quickly shift the 
momentum by throwing an opponent during his/her recovery time. You can also 
be aggressive and grab and throw an opponent to set up for a possible combo. 
Or, you can grab simply to knee your opponent and deal damage (for details, 
see below).

Marth’s range can be seriously useful if you can time his grabs right – just 
as an opponent is about to attack you, you can try and grab them if they’re 
within range (because Marth’s range is so long, often characters will be in 
range). The most annoying thing in the world is getting grabbed out of an 
attack, so make sure you do this often to your opponents! You can even grab 
opponents out of their Up+B recovery moves as they’re getting back onto the 
stage, although this can be hard against the likes of Bowser or DK who have 
multi-hit, high-priority moves. It’s impossible as far as I know to do this 
on Ganondorf or Captain Falcon because of the way their Up+B works. Still, 
the bottom line is that Marth’s grabs are very handy and you should become 
intimately familiar with them (not in that way, you pervert).

=== Throw ~ Tap Control Stick direction after Grab; 4-5% damage and 2-3%
    damage per knee hit ===

Marth isn’t extremely good at throwing, but you’ll still have to know how to 
throw since they’re good for setting up other moves. Throws in SSB: Melee 
have been toned down from the original; they generally don’t do as much 
damage, and they have nowhere near the originals’ launching power. On the 
flip side, you now have a more versatile choice of throws, and can follow up 
with moves more easily; try using Marth’s Up+A (strong) slash (see below in 
the A-button Moves section for more info) after a throw to set an opponent up 
for further aerial hits. CPUs will use throws and set up further hits all the 
time; you hit them, they block, then they grab and throw with lightning 
quickness. Beware.

To throw, you must first grab an opponent. While grabbing him, you can press 
A to knee him and increase his damage. Opponents will be able to squirm out 
after a while, though – the higher an opponent’s damage, the longer he/she 
will stay in your hold. (Psychic attacks and Jigglypuff’s Sing work the same 
way; the more damaged an opponent, the longer the attacks’ effects last.) A 
good rule of thumb is that for every 40% damage your opponent has, you can 
fit in one knee; hence, someone with 120% damage can take three hits and a 
throw without squirming out of your grasp. To throw, tap in any of the four 
main directions with the control stick. Marth’s throws:

Upward    – Emblem Toss: Marth chucks his opponent upward; 4% damage
Forward   – Bounce: the opponent is slammed down and forward (not much); 4%
Downwards – Slam: the opponent is slammed down and backwards (not much); 5%
Backwards – Throw Away: the opponent is chucked backward over Marth’s 
            shoulder; 4%

Marth’s throws aren’t all that powerful, but like I said, they set up well 
for attacks. His upward throw sets up the Up+A strong/smash moves, the 
forward throw can send an opponent into the perfect position for a sweet hit 
with your forward smash, and the other two throws can be good for following 
up with a strong move or a smash, depending on how far your opponent flies. 

Marth’s grabs are good, so if you feel like pissing off your opponents and 
just grabbing around, do so. Use your speed and range well – you can wait for 
someone to bounce up/recover after being thrown (remember to be careful about 
any attack that accompanies the recovery) and then do another grab and throw, 
and then repeat. Just be careful around experts and CPUs, who have very good 
timing; if you’re not careful, you’ll just end up getting grabbed and thrown 
yourself, especially with level 9 CPUs who are really frustrating with these 
moves. Also, be careful against fast characters, since they can execute quick 
strong/aerial attacks that will disrupt your flow and leave you vulnerable 
after throwing. Still, it’s worth it to practice grabs and throws as you’ll 
be a definite menace, especially to opponents who are hard to hit with 
regular attacks.

=== Air Grab ~ L/R + A, or Z (aerial) ===

With this, you can grab items that are falling down in the air – either 
because they’ve just appeared, or because you (or someone else) have thrown 
them upwards. Be careful when doing this – if you screw up, then the item 
will hurt you if it’s been thrown by someone else. You can catch items that 
are thrown vertically or horizontally, although obviously it’s easier to 
catch ones that are just thrown vertically since they tend to travel more 
slowly.

You can also use the air grab to take items that are on platforms above you; 
just jump up to the platform’s level and then air grab, and you’ll take the 
item without ever having to jump on to the platform. Handy, and a great time 
saver (very useful in Event 37 – Legendary Pokemon).

It’s best to use Z for the air grab, not L/R + A, because the latter button 
combination makes you air dodge afterwards, which can be annoying and time 
consuming. Also, if you screw up the air grab and miss, using Z will have you 
execute your Twin Slash (neutral A, aerial) which will at least provide some 
cover, while using L/R + A will make you dodge and look like a fool.

Once you have picked up an item, you can press L/R + A or Z again to drop it 
in the air. This is where L/R + A comes in handy. You’ll drop an item, and 
then dodge straight afterwards, so you can jump up to someone, drop a Bob-omb 
and then dodge the ensuing explosion. A nice trick to have up your sleeve.

=== Ground Grab ~ A, right as incoming item hits you ===

If someone chucks an item at you horizontally and you’re on the ground, you 
can actually catch it! This works with all items (as far as I know) as well 
as certain item-like projectiles such as Link’s bombs and Peach’s veggies. 
This requires good timing though – you have to press A (as if you were to 
grab the item off the ground) RIGHT before the thrown item reaches you. It’ll 
become yours, even if it’s a mine, Bob-omb or a Pokeball! Just make sure your 
timing is good, because you’ll be pissed if you try and catch a Bob-omb, only 
to mistime it and end up getting blown off.

=== Taunt ~ Up (D-Pad) ===

Marth strikes a nice, noble pose and twirls his sword around. He also utters 
something in Japanese. ElfenGodFather, Augustine J Bono and The Devils 
Advocate have all told me that Marth says something to the effect of 
“Everybody look at me” (in a mocking manner) in Japanese. DiscoPuppy states 
in his Translation Guide that Marth says “Minna Mitette Kure”, or “Hey guys, 
check this out!”

--------------------------
   A-BUTTON MOVES, LAND
--------------------------

=== Falchion Slash ~ A; 6% damage ===

Marth quickly swipes across his body with his blade. This move comes out 
quickly, with fair range and a nice arc that lets it cover more vertical 
distance than you think. The only thing is that the attack is fast and you 
need to make sure your timing is right, but then again this applies for most 
neutral A-button attacks. The Falchion Slash is limited in power and damage 
and is useless on its own for offence; however, it’s great for parrying (that 
is, quickly and efficiently cancelling attacks/projectiles – see Tips & 
Tricks) and sets up well for other attacks, especially the Sharp Edge 
(forward+A strong) or even the Dragon Slayer (smash forward+A) if you’re 
quick.

=== Return Swipe ~ press A right after Falchion Slash; 3-6% damage ===

This is basically the same as the Falchion Slash, except Marth swings his 
sword around from the far side of his body to the near side (instead of the 
other way around). Keep pressing A to perform...

=== Swinging Swipes ~ tap A repeatedly after Return Swipe; 2-3%/hit ===

Marth’s A-A-A (and so on) move. Like most such moves it is weak and not very 
damaging, but it can actually be useful because of its range and ability to 
block incoming attacks. As with the Falchion Slash, use this to pester 
opponents and perhaps keep them at bay during 1-P mode. Don’t do it too much, 
though; smart opponents can get close to you even when you’re executing a 
flurry of swipes, and if they do this you’ll get hit or thrown between 
swipes. The answer to this is to simply throw your opponent first, right as 
he or she comes within range – you will usually win, although characters with 
long range grabs like Link can give you problems. In these cases, roll away 
once you see your opponent advancing through your swipes.

=== Upper Slash ~ Up+A (strong); 12% damage ===

Marth takes his blade and slashes forward and upward in a circular motion. 
The Upper Slash, like most of Marth’s attacks, has pretty good range and as 
such, is very useful as a counter against jump-ins as well as a basic forward 
attack (you can use it in the place of an Up+B Dolphin Slash if an opponent 
is standing right next to you – both attacks will have good power in these 
situations, and the Upper Slash will have less recovery time). Against 
characters that don’t have high-priority jump-in attacks, your superior range 
and good priority will almost always result in your Upper Slash getting 
through if you use it as an anti-air counter. Also, your Upper Slash hits a 
small area in front of you as well as above you, so it can be used as a 
clear-out move.

The Upper Slash has good power, especially if you get your timing and 
placement right, and can kill enemies at moderate damage levels. Its quick 
recovery time and knock-up power makes it excellent for setting up aerial 
juggles, and can be used as a KO-ing attack when you’re close to the vertical 
boundary (or when your opponent is at high damage). Of course, Marth’s upward 
smash has a lot more power and damage, but it’s also more clumsy and much 
harder to hit sweetly with, so get used to your Upper Slash and its ability 
to hit in a wide arc.

=== Low Stab ~ Down+A (strong); 10% damage ===

This isn’t extremely useful because it requires that you crouch down first. 
You can’t crouch and thrust instantaneously because you’ll end up doing the 
Down+A smash. Despite this limitation, the Low Stab can still be good in 
certain situations – if you’re crouching to evade an attack or simply because 
you feel like crouching (see Tips & Tricks for some cool stuff about 
crouching), then the thrust is a good way of keeping enemies away. It’s got 
decent range and is quick, with little recovery, and so can work as a little 
jab to tell enemies to keep their distance.

More importantly, the Low Stab has great uses in one particular area. If 
you’re up against someone with low-medium damage, poke at him (try not to hit 
with the sweet spot; we just want a little jab here) and IMMEDIATELY yank 
forward on the yellow c-stick to perform Marth’s forward smash. This works 
very well, and if you’re quick on the draw, there’s nothing your opponent can 
do about it. If you catch your opponent with your sweet spot, he’s in 
trouble.

Note that if you tap A rapidly while executing the Low Stab, Marth will 
execute a series of jabs much more quickly than usual. You can use the rapid-
Low Stab to get opponents in position for stronger moves or simply rack up 
damage, but be careful not to go overboard, as opponents will be able to 
escape after a couple of hits.

Also, against a CPU or dumb human, you can use your Low Stab as a way of edge 
guarding – it’s very effective against characters that come back horizontally 
and so will have a hard time resisting a little poke. This does not work 
against better players.

=== Sharp Edge ~ Forward+A (strong); 13% damage ===

This move is much more useful than its low damage might imply. Marth sweeps 
his blade in front of him, arcing it from low to high and ending with his arm 
outstretched. The Sharp Edge comes out quickly, doesn’t take too long to 
recover from, and has great range as well as pretty good priority. It doesn’t 
have the awesome vertical arc of Marth’s forward smash, but it’s less 
predictable and safer. If your opponent is fresh, then use this move and your 
neutral A-button swipe to increase damage quickly and set up for your forward 
smash; if your opponent has higher damage levels then the Sharp Edge can hit 
farther and become a decent edge-guarding weapon.

Marth’s Sharp Edge doesn’t look so flashy, so your opponents might 
misunderestimate it (yes, another George W. Bush joke), which would be a big 
mistake on their parts. Hit with the very tip of your blade (a sweet hit) and 
you’ll send your opponent flying fairly far away horizontally. With its 
potential power and very fast speed coming out, you’ve got an attack that 
just cuts right into the opponent and can be quite dangerous.

You can also use the Sharp Edge to keep some distance between you and your 
opponent – like most of your attacks, it gets more powerful with distance so 
you can execute this move from afar. In addition, the Sharp Edge can also be 
used to parry (see Tips & Tricks), set up for other moves (including Marth’s 
Down+A aerial spike, which we’ll get to in a bit), prevent most opponents 
from using their throws, follow up after a throw of your own, and more. 
(Thanks to Howard and Nester for their advice on this very useful move!) 
Furthermore, against weaker enemies (like the ones in 1-P mode) the Sharp 
Edge works as a nice clear out move.

=== Leg Slash ~ Press A while dashing; 12% damage ===

Marth extends his sword and slashes forward while dashing. This move is one 
of the few in Marth’s inventory that has a fairly short duration, but its 
good range and set-up ability more than make up for that (provided that you 
get your timing right, which shouldn’t be too hard). Use the Leg Slash’s good 
range and priority to get through to your opponent and send him/her bouncing 
upward, then hit with your Dragon Slayer or Sharp Edge (forward+A strong); 
or, start an aerial juggle. You can also use the Leg Slash to whack an 
opponent who is lying on the ground and/or has just ‘bounced’ up after being 
hit to the ground previously.

Overuse of this move will lead to smart opponents simply dodging/rolling and 
throwing you out of them. Be aware, and try not to make your dashing too 
obvious (don’t dash from afar). Used effectively this move is horribly 
annoying; it has long range and sets up beautifully for an upward stroke or 
aerial juggles.

=== Winning Thrust ~ Up+A; 8-10% (regular) or 15-24% (sweet) damage ===

Marth takes his sword and thrusts it upward. The move is not the fastest 
coming out, and there is a bit of recovery, but it’ll suffice against most 
opponents if you start it early. There’s slightly more horizontal range than 
you might expect, which coupled with the vertical range and priority makes 
this a useful move.

Use the Winning Thrust against single opponents who stunned in the air and/or 
have low-range aerial moves. The damage and power of the move tend to vary 
quite a bit – it’s important to hit an opponent right with the tip of the 
blade, since the damage will be more than doubled and the power will increase 
mightily. If you just hit your opponent regularly, you’ll do a measly 7-8% 
damage and hardly any power. In these situations you’ll just have to roll out 
or use your Upper Slash to gain some room. To get the all-important sweet hit 
instead of a crappy ordinary hit, time your move so that it hits when your 
opponent is still some distance above you – only the tip should connect. 

If you’re not good at placing this move to hit sweetly, forget it – just use 
the more reliable Upper Slash, which recovers quickly and gets your opponent 
to a moderate height after which you can set up an aerial juggle. The Winning 
Thrust can do none of those things, and takes a while to recover from (so 
don’t use it against multiple enemies), but used correctly it can be a real 
killer. Sure, it’s tough, but that’s life. Practice, and watch for the look 
on your opponent’s face when he or she gets sent flying. Don’t use your 
Winning Thrust often, though, or your opponents will see it coming (and then 
they’ll be wary in the air, and you’ll never get a good hit in).

=== Whirlwind Slash ~ Down+A; 16-21%, or 11-15% if backward stroke hits ===

Marth takes his sword and sweeps it in front of him, then slices back around 
his body, keeping his blade fairly low. This move is similar to Link’s 
Down+A, except it comes out faster but has worse delay afterwards. The 
Whirlwind Slash is one of the few moves in Marth’s inventory that leaves him 
wide open due to recovery time (in fact, the only other move I can think of 
where this occurs is the Down+A/aerial spike (see below), which is not quite 
as bad). So, you’ll want to be careful when using this, since if you miss 
your opponent (or someone else is attacking from behind) you may be in 
trouble.

Despite that, the Whirlwind Slash is still a potent weapon. It has two strong 
points: speed, and range. This comes out lightning past, hits hard and low, 
and has super reach (comparable to that of your forward smash – see below). 
You have to use it right though. Now, if you’re close to the opponent when 
you hit, you won’t do much more than hit him in a relatively weak trajectory 
forwards. This can be useful near the edges against characters that have bad 
horizontal recovery, but in general it’s not the best outcome. You could 
achieve nearly the same with the Forward, A (tilt) Sharp Edge.

So what you’ll want to do is to hit your opponent sweetly. Get used to the 
range on this move – the sweet spot does not change and can be easily 
exploited once you have the ‘feel’ and placing of the move down pat – and use 
it against opponents at longer ranges. Marth may be slow to recover from the 
move, but the Whirlwind Slash has plenty of speed in coming out, and can 
surprise an opponent who thinks he’s conveniently out of range. A decent hit 
with the Whirlwind Slash does around 20% damage and sends opponents straight 
upward – and KOs pretty well, too. The backwards slice is fairly powerful as 
well, and also sends the opponent nearly straight upward. It’s probably 
better to turn around and fight rather than use the Whirlwind Slash’s 
roundabout stroke against an opponent coming from behind, but in a pinch it 
could work.

In 1-P mode you can have a ball with this as a set-up for aerial attacks as 
well as a clearout move against slower opponents. Even against humans, a 
quick, unexpected Whirlwind Slash can be a powerful psyche-breaker, and sets 
up well for aerial combos. As an edge guarding implement, a charged Whirlwind 
Slash gives you plenty of range and nasty power: perfect against characters 
whose Up+B recovery moves come at you low and horizontally (e.g. Bowser). 
Keep in mind that Marth’s Whirlwind Slash is also one of Marth’s only moves 
that hits opponents purely in one direction (vertically in this case). 
Exercise proper care (emphasis here!) and you’ll find this move handy in a 
pinch.

=== Dragon Slayer ~ Forward+A; 14-19% (regular) or 20-27% (sweet) damage ===

Everybody loves this move, and for good reason. Marth raises his blade above 
his head and then slams it down in a wide, long-ranged arc, hitting opponents 
above and in front of him. Anyone who’s hit will usually fly away at a 45-60 
degree angle, depending on what part of the arc hits him or her, but if you 
hit an opponent with the end of the move you’ll send him/her flying fairly 
fast and low. The move comes out fairly quickly (unless you charge it, of 
course) and is capable of devastating opponents if you can manage to get a 
sweet hit in.

A regular hit with this move lacks power, and does only moderate damage, so 
you really MUST get used to doing this from long range and getting that sweet 
sensation. I like to hit opponents who are above me, or sprawled flat on the 
ground; it’s easier to get a sweet hit this way because it’s likely that, due 
to the elevation difference, your sword will only be able to hit with the tip 
(the target area is smaller, hence you will probably get an edgier hit).

A great trick is to use your swipe (neutral A), Sharp Edge (forward+A strong) 
or perhaps the Upper Slash to set up an opponent, depending on the damage 
percentage, and then use an uncharged Dragon Slayer – it’s faster than most 
people expect. In these situations, use the yellow c-stick to bypass the 
trouble of having to press forward+A. Even more potent than this is the famed 
crouching-A => Dragon Slayer two-hit combo, which can be very effective 
indeed. (See above, in the Low Stab (crouching-A) move description, for more 
info.)

Or, use the Dragon Slayer as a way of irritating opponents and forcing them 
backwards. This has the longest range of Marth’s moves (yes, it has better 
range than the Shield Breaker) so it matches up very well against swordsmen 
or pretty much anyone else out there.

A quick word of caution, though - opponents who are quick with the throws may 
be able to throw you right as you execute this move; it takes lots of skill 
and timing, but it’s possible, and the computers do it regularly. Combat this 
by being unpredictable with your attacks, and attacking from long range where 
your blade’s tip can hit, but your opponent’s throw can’t.

A fully charged Dragon Slayer will rival the Shield Breaker in damage and 
power, and also covers your whole forward side. Great as a stock attack, as 
long as you don’t blatantly overuse it. I tend to use this a hell of a lot in 
one player, but not as much against humans because they’re always on guard 
against this killer move. This can work to your advantage because you always 
have that little intimidation factor, which can make your opponent nervous, 
and you’re going to get to use this move anyway because it becomes almost a 
reflex action after a while. Be sure that you know how to use your weaker 
attacks to knock your opponent into the right position for a sweet hit with 
this move.

You can use the Dragon Slayer very well for keeping opponents from jumping 
back onto the stage (‘edge guarding’) – just wait for them to jump or use 
their Up+B, and let loose (you can start charging beforehand, of course). 
Remember that you only need a small amount of time to do this move, and you 
can use it right after another ground move.

-------------------------
   A-BUTTON MOVES, AIR
-------------------------

=== Aerial Swipe ~ Forward+A; 13% damage ===

Marth slashes forward with his blade, arcing it downward and covering the 
whole front half of his body. You need fair timing, but if used well this is 
very effective; you can hit any point in front of you, and, while the move 
doesn’t have a whole lot of power, it can up your opponent’s damage very 
nicely. With its great priority and low recovery time, you can use this 
several times in succession in the air, either as an offensive juggle (use it 
in conjunction with your other aerial moves) or as a defensive nullifier of 
faster aerial moves (like those of Fox’s or Sheik’s). The Aerial Swipe is 
also useful as a jump-in attack because your blade arcs downwards, and has 
some serious priority. An unassuming but brilliant move, and one of your most 
important air attacks.

=== Luna Slash ~ Up+A; 13% damage ===

A great move for juggling and majorly pissing off your opponent. Marth 
slashes in an arc above his head, covering 180 degrees. This move has good 
reach, and can break up most Down+A aerial moves if you have good timing and 
placing. Try to hit with the edge of the arc; this maximises damage and also 
means that you don’t have to get as close to your opponent. This move is 
versatile as hell – you can use it at practically any time in the air and it 
comes out quickly. Because it’s so quick to come out and recover, you can 
easily juggle your opponent with it (juggling is using a succession of aerial 
moves to keep your opponents in the air – see Tips & Tricks for more info).

Marth’s Aerial Swipe and Luna Slash have little delay and can be almost 
chained together in the air, for some useful damage. You probably won’t get 
many KOs with these moves (although the Luna Slash can be surprisingly 
powerful if you can hit a high-damage opponent with the sweet spot), but you 
usually will give yourself enough space to get away or execute another move, 
and if you’re good you’ll be able to really cut up your opponent.

=== Half Moon ~ Down+A; 10% (regular) or 13% (sweet) damage ===

This move is similar to the Luna Slash, except – get this – in the opposite 
direction! Wow. If you’re next to your opponent when you slash with your Half 
Moon, or if your opponent is on the ground, he or she will get sent slightly 
upwards. You can try and fit in another aerial move, or you can try and evade 
the Down+A counterattack that’s probably coming. It all depends on the 
opponent – e.g., don’t screw around with Link.

I personally like to hit aerial opponents while they are a bit below me, or 
to my side. Swipe at them and try and hit them with the tip of your blade 
(you can get such a hit at any point of your arc, so you don’t HAVE to hit 
with just the bottom of the arc; either end will work as well, as long as the 
opponent is in the appropriate position to your side). If you do this, you’ll 
hear a sweet sound similar to that of the Dragon Slayer, and your opponent 
will get spiked. If you don’t know what a spike is, it’s where your opponent 
gets hit by an attack (usually an aerial down+A) and then falls straight 
down. If you do this while your opponent is over the abyss (knock your 
opponent off the stage and then jump once off the stage, spike, then jump and 
Dolphin Slash back on; or, spike from the stage – see two paragraphs below), 
then you’ll likely score a KO.

Marth’s Half Moon isn’t a true spike, as an opponent won’t be sent flying too 
far, but it’s very useful still, even if all it does is scare an opponent. 
The more damage an opponent has, the longer it will be before they recover 
from your hit, which will send them hurtling downwards and usually slightly 
AWAY from you (meaning, towards the edge, which is useful). Computer 
opponents tend to react quickly, while humans might have a harder time. In 
any case, this is a useful move, but you will need to practice before you can 
get it right all the time. Beware of the Half Moon’s nasty recovery time in 
the air, which will hamper your getting back onto the stage.

Because of the recovery time, you shouldn’t get too keen with spiking and end 
up suiciding because you run out of jumps! I said above that you can jump out 
and spike if you want, but you can also spike from the stage. The latter way 
is preferable; you can still spike well, and don’t have to worry about 
running out of jumps to get back. I’ll let Howard and Nester describe spiking 
from the stage:

“Whenever you hit an opponent with a move near the edge that doesn't launch 
them, rather, makes them pop up a short distance (forward-A tilt, up-A tilt, 
running-A, Marth's forward and backwards aerial-As), don't hit them with the 
forward-A smash. You have a better move. It's a little hard to do, but, can 
be done. Take a jump (use the X and Y buttons, not the control stick) BUT 
hold down on the control stick as you do so. You should make a teeny-tiny 
hop. While this distance is too short for most characters to use their 
meteors/spikes, for Marth, this is a whole 'nuther story. Falco players know 
what I'm talking about. You can -kill- even heavyweights like Bowser and 
Donkey Kong at 40-50% with practice.

“Since his aerial finisher isn't that strong to begin with, the short height 
at which it can be performed [Editor’s note: we are talking about hitting the 
opponent with the start of the move, at the point where Marth’s sword is 
still to his side. Hitting with this part of the move lets you spike quickly, 
without much need for a jump, and also conveniently places the hit area to 
your side, giving you more freedom.] is not only a godsend, it /is/ godly.”

Spiking like that is pretty much the same as edge guarding, in that it’s safe 
and effective from on the stage. The difference, of course, is that ‘edge-
spiking’ is so much more potent than edge guarding, and comes without the 
risk usually associated with spiking. You can also throw someone upward and 
then jump up to the person and spike as described above - not bad, not bad at 
all.

=== Twin Slash ~ A; 14% damage (two parts of 4 and 10% damage) ===

This move has reasonable power and does a moderate deal of damage, but I tend 
to find myself using Marth’s other aerial moves more. I think it’s because 
Marth’s Twin Slash lacks coverage – it’s fairly good if an opponent is right 
next to you, but it won’t cover one whole half of Marth’s body like his 
Aerial Swipe or Luna Slash – instead, it’s just a pair of quick, horizontal 
slashes (all of Marth’s other aerial moves have lots of vertical arc, but not 
this one) that hit your opponent pleasantly solidly but can be difficult to 
position for the initial hit.

Despite its limitations, the Twin Slash does have a number of uses. It can 
serve as a surprise move that’s quick and can hit away pesky opponents who 
are hugging too close to your body; or, you can use it against stunned 
opponents, quickly jumping up them and busting out this move. The first hit 
sets up, and the second move knocks away, and if you recover quickly on the 
ground you can jump-in and execute this move multiple times. This can be 
quite useful, but make sure you use L/R-recovering techniques to shorten 
recovery time.

Indeed, there is a bit of recovery time for this move, and its range and 
priority are not as good as your other aerials. Its horizontal power and 
speed in coming out are its main pluses. For example, you can use the Twin 
Slash as a quick hit to send opponents away from the stage if you’re airborne 
and can’t execute any of your regular ground moves or don’t have enough time 
for your spike.

=== About Face Slash ~ Backwards+A; 13% damage ===

Marth swipes around his body, his blade going backwards and hitting anyone 
near that side of him. I don’t use this a whole lot because the move seems to 
be a bit slower and more clumsy than Marth’s other moves, but the About Face 
Slash does have good priority and duration and is one of the only ways you 
can protect your back. As usual, hit someone with the last bit of the attack 
to get more power. As an alternative you can air-dodge or use your Forward+B 
attack (you can change direction this way in the air) but neither is as 
‘safe’ as the About Face Slash, so you might as well get used to this move, 
uninspiring as it may be.

==========================
     5. Special Moves
==========================

As with most other characters’ specials, these are powerful and flashy, but 
have more recovery time than most regular A-button attacks, and also leave 
you vulnerable. The Shield Breaker is your typical offensive smack, the 
Dancing Blade lets you execute a ‘custom combo’ of sorts that can really 
confound opponents, the Dolphin Slash is a graceful comeback move, and the 
Counter is a handy tool against aggressive opponents. Use these moves with 
care, and remember that they are NOT meant to be staple attacks.

=== Shield Breaker ~ tap/hold B; 7-28% damage ===

Marth raises his sword over his head, as if he were about to execute an 
Dragon Slayer, and then slams his blade downward with some nice effects. You 
can charge the move by holding B, and a fully charged Shield Breaker will 
result in an automatic sweet hit and a probable KO if your opponent’s above 
50-60% damage. True to its name, the Shield Breaker is also very tough on 
shields. A non-charged Shield Breaker will eat up an opponent’s shield by 35-
40%, if not more, and cause a little shield stun (that is, the opponent’s 
shield stays up a little longer than usual, giving you slightly more time to 
throw or attack). A fully charged Shield Breaker results in your opponent’s 
shield being smashed to hell and back; while he or she is dizzy, you can 
pretty much charge up another Breaker and see how your opponent likes it.

Downsides: the moe is easy to see coming, takes a while of charging before it 
gets really powerful (unlike your forward smash, which has some bite even 
when uncharged) and tends to be overused. Charging in the face of a good 
player will result in him jumping over you or rolling through you and 
attacking your backside.

Use this sparingly or as a surprise jump-in attack. The only exception is 
edge guarding. Don’t edge guard with this much, though, since good opponents 
will anticipate it and might counter, or air dodge, or cling to the ledge, or 
do whatever they can to avoid it. It’s probably preferable for you to jump 
out and spike (discussed later in Tips and Tricks!), or use a different move 
for edge guarding. The down+A smash can work since it hits lower than 
expected and has good priority. Moreover, most people don’t see it coming. 
Tilt/Smash-A attacks also work well in the Shield Breaker’s stead – they have 
greater range.

The Shield Breaker is somewhat useful as a keep-away move. It has good range 
(slightly less than the Dragon Slayer, though) and comes out reasonably 
quickly, plus you can use it in the air, where it will cover a really big 
arc. Opponents mightn’t expect it, and in tight situations it can give you 
just enough room to prepare for another attack or roll out. The Shield 
Breaker doesn’t do much damage if you just tap B, but it has even power 
throughout its arc (unlike your A-button moves), so it is a decent melee 
move.


=== Dolphin Slash ~ Up+B; 13% damage ===

This is Marth’s recovery move. He quickly leaps upward with his arm out-
stretched, and his blade will damage opponents on his way up. If you start 
the move while you’re fairly close to your opponent, the Dolphin Slash will 
be surprisingly powerful (especially if you hit with the tip – start from 
about 1.5 body-widths away to do this), and will scoop your opponent up and 
into the air at around a 30-degree angle. This can be useful if your opponent 
is at a moderate-to-high damage percentage – just use your Dolphin Slash as 
you would Luigi’s Uppercut. Your opponent won’t see it coming (useful if your 
foe is predicting all your regular attacks), and you won’t have to worry 
about the recovery time since your foe will be sent fairly far away. It’s 
easier to do this on the ground because for some reason Marth’s Dolphin Slash 
doesn’t scoop as well in the air (you have to be really close, making it 
almost impractical).

Remember that only the start of the move is powerful, and also note that the 
move takes a little while to get going, and the beginning stages (as Marth 
brings his sword around and prepares to leap) have low priority, so DON’T try 
it against someone in the air unless you’re confident that you can surprise 
them enough to get this move out in time. Even weak attacks will stop this 
move if your opponents hit you early, so be careful.

Because most of the time you won’t get to move in close (and your opponent 
might be fresh, meaning that he/she doesn’t get sent too far), the move often 
won’t be usable as an offensive attack. (There is one exception: if you hit 
the opponent at the very end of your leap during the Dolphin Slash, you might 
get a little sweet hit in, and you’ll have extra power. This is rare and 
usually impractical, though.) So, it’s best just to leave this as a recovery 
move for use when you need an extra boost up onto the stage. You should 
usually drop down so that your move will take you JUST to the edge of the 
stage. If you do this, Marth will grab onto the edge and you can take things 
from there. By doing this, you make it pretty much impossible for opponents 
to edge-guard you, but to do this well you have to know the exact height that 
Marth’s Dolphin Slash gives you. Try it out in Training Mode.

If you do decide to go at an opponent with this move – and sometimes you 
will, to take advantage of its high priority and lightning speed – then you 
should make sure that you yank backwards on the control stick right as you 
press Up+B. It’s hard to describe, but people who played Luigi in the 
original SSB will know what I’m talking about. What happens is that you do a 
Dolphin Slash in the opposite direction to which you were going before; so 
you might’ve been jumping to the right, and you might hit your opponent to 
the right, but you’ll execute the actual recovery move to the left. This is a 
good way of getting some extra horizontal distance between you and your 
opponent – some distance is vital, because Marth falls slowly and you DON’T 
want your opponent nailing you right as you fall down.

A last bit of information: unlike the other swordsmen, Marth can execute his 
Dolphin Slash very soon after most all of his aerial moves, the only 
exception being the down+A spike. So, feel free to have a go at an opponent 
even when you’re trying to recover – the Aerial Swipe (forward+A) and the 
first hit of your Dancing Blade are useful since they’ll distract your 
opponent and you can then follow up with a quick Dolphin Slash after you’ve 
dropped down a bit, to take you onto the edge. Also, you can add a little bit 
of horizontal distance to the Dolphin Slash by tilting forward on the control 
stick as you execute the move – there’s not much of a difference but it is 
there, and can come in handy for those near-impossible recoveries.

=== Counter ~ Down+B; 7% damage ===

A great way to piss off opponents, as well as totally throw them out of 
rhythm. Marth assumes a stoic pose and then flashes. If he gets hit during 
this flashing time, he’ll absorb the hit and then immediately counter with a 
quick swipe, similar to your Sharp Edge (Forward+A strong). The swipe only 
does 7% damage but has good range, excellent priority (you can Counter 
opponents who are wielding a Hammer!) and decent power, so it’ll usually give 
you enough breathing room to either get out of the situation or set up an 
attack. Counter works on all attacks, physical or energy, and is vulnerable 
only to throws and grab-like moves.

Because of the Counter’s vulnerability to throws, you mustn’t use it too 
often – otherwise your opponent will start to predict it and might even draw 
you into it, in hopes of getting a throwing opportunity. Counter does have 
some recovery time at the end, so if your opponent is really crafty he or she 
might just time an attack to hit then, and really annoy you! My advice is to 
use Counter sparingly, but in important situations. Surprise your opponent; 
dash up to him, and Counter right when you get within range. The opponent 
will usually attack instinctively, and run right into your Counter, and 
what’s more, you should be far enough away that most throws won’t work. 
Mwahaha!

Against one opponent you can usually just parry (see Tips & Tricks) or dodge 
around, but when fighting against multiple enemies or when under pressure, 
Counter can be a lifesaver. When Countering, Marth can have his back to the 
opponent’s attack and it will still work (Marth will automatically turn 
around while slashing), which is great against groups. Counter is especially 
useful when you feel that someone is about to jump-in on you (since grabs 
can’t be performed in the air), or when you sense that an aerial finisher is 
coming up. Beware of Ganondorf and Cpt. Falcon’s Up+B moves, though.

Used properly, your Counter can disrupt opponents’ rhythm and, more 
importantly perhaps, break their morale. Nothing sucks more than being 
Countered. Roy can use his Counter offensively, which hurts even more (and 
lord knows Marth players hate being countered by Roy), but Marth’s has longer 
duration and is easier to use. Plus we have superior range.

Countering is also useful as an edge-guarding implement. For instance, Link 
and Bowser are hard to edge-guard conventionally because of their annoying 
Up+B moves, so Counter them instead. Your Counter-stroke will usually get 
through to them and knock them back, and at that point you can have another 
go at them or try to jump out a bit and spike. The good thing about 
Countering is that a highly-damaged opponent will sometimes fly in a slight 
inverted-V shape (like this: /\) that is useless on the ground but can work 
as an extra downwards boost when edge guarding.

Whatever you do, don’t overuse Counter. It shouldn’t be your main defensive 
move – rolls and dodges are there for you – and you shouldn’t rely on it for 
many purposes other than a surprise attack for when you’re on the back foot, 
and/or a way of throwing off an opponent’s rhythm.

NOTE: There are actually a few moves that Marth has difficulty Countering. 
Multi-hit moves such as Falco/Fox’s light kick combo are hard to Counter, 
since your Countering stroke will be nullified by the continued stream of 
attacks. Extremely fast attacks are also impractical to Counter. For example, 
you CAN Counter the Fox Illusion or Falco Phantasm, but by the time you make 
your Counterstroke Fox/Falco will be far behind you. Fox’s laser cannot be 
countered, and neither his nor Falco’s lasers can be parried. (Yes, the two 
speedy StarFox characters can be a headache.) Finally, Mario and Luigi’s 
fireballs can’t be countered! Each fireball leaves a little trail of flame, 
which will disrupt your Counterstroke. Annoying. Link’s (or Y. Link’s) arrows 
can sometimes disrupt your Counter as well, due to their length.

=== Dancing Blade ~ Forward+B; damage varies (see below) ===

The best use of this move is as a recovery aid. If you need some extra 
horizontal distance in the air, then you can repeatedly press Forward+B to do 
the first red stroke of the Dancing Blade. Leave a pause between each 
Forward+B, otherwise you will engage in the rest of the combo (ie turn other 
colours) and lose momentum. Just keep executing the first red hit and you’ll 
get some extra distance, after which you can Dolphin Slash your way back onto 
the stage.

The offensive uses of this move are limited despite its cool animation. Marth 
takes his sword, starts up his flashing colour generator, and does a one to 
four-hit combo that starts off fairly weakly but gets pretty strong by the 
end.

You start off the Dancing Blade by pressing Forward+B. Each hit after that is 
executed by pressing B right when Marth’s blade has stopped after the 
previous hit; the gap between hits can be between .3-.5 seconds 
approximately, and is controlled by you. The faster you tap B, the faster 
Marth executes the next stroke. If you tap B too quickly or too slowly, and 
the game won’t register your input and the Dancing Blade will just stop.

Each of the Dancing Blade’s last three hits can be customised using the 
control stick; just tilt it either upwards or downwards as you press B, to 
use an alternate stroke. The second hit only has two possible variations 
(forward and up) while the third and fourth hit have three variations 
(forward, up and down). If you don’t tilt in any direction or tilt it in some 
weird direction like backwards, then the game will just act as if you had 
tilted forwards. Here’s a rundown of all possible strokes for each hit:

   FIRST HIT (Red)
   Forward: a quick forward swipe, 4% damage

   SECOND HIT (Green)
   Forward: a quick forward poke, 4%
   Up:      a quick upward swipe, 4%

   THIRD HIT (Blue)
   Forward: a quick, good-priority, powerful forward slash, 8%
   Up:      a whirling, high-to-low slash, 5%
   Down:    a powerful downward thrust that can act as a fairly good spike in 
            the air or near the edge of a stage, 10%

   FOURTH HIT (Red)
   Forward: overhead smash, 11%
   Up:      overhead smash (slightly higher than the forward stroke), 8%
   Down:    multiple low pokes, 12% (five pokes; 3, 2, 2, 2, 3% damage 
            respectively)

   NOTES: with the third and fourth hits, the damage given may vary slightly,  
   depending on how quickly the hits follow one another. Also, all damages 
   given assume that you have connected with the previous hits. If this is 
   not so, then the damage for the later hits may be increased.

It’s easy to see how many possible stroke and timing variations there are. My 
favourite combos are Fwd-Up-Up-Up (quick, good juggling, good finish), Fwd-
Up-Fwd-Up (powerful, ranged, and good for clearing out), and Fwd-Fwd (or Up)-
Down-Down (unexpected, annoying, high damage). The third combination is 
especially useful near the edge since the second stroke sets your opponent up 
for a spike on the third stroke, and if you miss you can tack on a last hit 
just to annoy your opponent or get him off your back. Another good 
combination is Fwd-Fwd-Fwd-Fwd (or Up) – high-priority and powerful, and more 
effective against slower characters.

Beware, though, that the Dancing Blade can be tricky in that opponents at 
high damage will not be caught in the combo, and the minute variations in 
stroke timing mean that no DB will ever be the same – hence you must often 
think stroke-by-stroke when doing the Dancing Blade. Practice in training 
mode to get yourself acquainted with the strokes and the timing.

The Dancing Blade isn’t as useful in melees as it is in one-on-one, simply 
because someone will always be able to hit you out of the attack. Even in 
one-on-one, fast or strong (high-priority) opponents can disrupt your Dancing 
Blade.

=========================
     6. Marth vs Roy
=========================

Roy is another character in the Fire Emblem series. He and Marth are often 
seen as something of a duo in Melee, and there have been many arguments as to 
which one of the pair is better. This little section is meant to help you 
evaluate which one suits your individual playing style better. Maybe you only 
play as one of them, or maybe you play both equally, but in any case it’s 
good to know how the two shape up. I’m NOT going to pick the ‘better’ 
character because obviously, I’m kind of biased on the issue and you probably 
are as well. Suffice to say that everyone has his own opinion...

Anyway. Roy is an odd character. Small and somewhat light, he wears a red 
cape in Smash Bros. Melee and has a different voice from Marth’s and a rather 
brash look about him (ooh, red hair, attitude, wow). Although both Marth and 
Roy superficially seem like similar swordsmen, their playing styles differ 
quite a bit. They are no mere clones of each other, and play just as 
differently as, say, Link and Young Link. A quick run-down of the 
differences, with the most important ones being starred:

- Different taunts, sayings, costume colours and general appearance (of 
  course)

- Marth is taller and stands straighter than Roy (so he’s a bigger target)

* However, Marth is a bit heavier and a good deal faster (in running speed)  
  than Roy

* Marth, in general, recovers from moves faster than Roy; so he can juggle 
  and combo, while Roy has limited capabilities in these fields

- Marth slides farther than Roy (he has less traction), which can mean that  
  it’s harder to recover for Marth

- Marth’s sword range is generally slightly longer than Roy’s, although both 
  far outrange Link/Young Link

* Roy’s smashes tend to do a little bit more damage (Marth’s Down+A is 21%, 
  Roy’s 28%; Marth’s Up+A does 24%, slightly more than Roy’s 22%; and both  
  forward smashes do 27% max). I see little difference in how much hitting 
  power they each have, but the thing is that Roy’s sword tends to have a 
  higher average strength while its minimum strength is horrible. Marth, on 
  the other hand, has a slightly lower average strength but no really bad 
  minimum strength, and both swords have similar damage and power with a 
  sweet spot hit. (Marth’s sweet hit is actually slightly stronger.)

  So, if you don’t hit with your sweet spot, Marth’s attacks (the forward and  
  upward smashes, mostly, since these are the two main attacks where sweet 
  hits are prominent) lose about 25-30% of their damage rating and a lot of  
  their power. Thus, Roy tends to seem stronger to newer players, because 
  it’s easier to get a fairly strong hit, but as long as you have good 
  placement with Marth, he and Roy will have similar power.

* Roy’s sweet spot is located right in the middle of his blade, so it’s  
  easier to sweetly hit multiple opponents; however, Marth’s sweet spot 
  position is good for keeping enemies at a distance when going one-on-one

* Marth’s moves are generally quicker (e.g. Marth’s Shield Breaker charges 
  up more quickly and comes out faster than Roy’s corresponding move, Flare 
  Blade) but Roy’s sometimes have more maximum power. When it comes to the 
  all-important tilt-A moves (the strong moves, not the smashes), Marth has 
  greater priority, damage and power: a crucial strength of his.

- Roy’s Blazer is slower than Marth’s Dolphin Slash, but it hits multiple 
  times and stuns opponents for a good deal longer, thus giving Roy more  
  opportunity to come back onto the stage unscathed. Roy may have trouble 
  actually making it that far, though, since his Blazer (which goes at around 
  a 50-60 degree angle) offers only decent horizontal distance and mediocre 
  vertical distance.

  Marth’s Dolphin Slash tends to be weak unless you get up close (and you 
  usually won’t when coming back onto the stage) but his better jumping and 
  increased airtime let you do aerial moves and Counter when coming back (Roy 
  can’t pull this off) to help protect yourself in place of your Dolphin 
  Slash. You can then use his Dancing Blade, which supplies the horizontal 
  carry while the Dolphin Slash gives you that last vertical boost up to the 
  edge of the stage.

  So overall, Roy’s Blazer gets opponents off his back better, but his Blazer 
  and jumps offer half-assed recovery power, while Marth can get back to the  
  stage a good deal easier and can use his aerial moves (or simply grab onto 
  the edge – Roy can do this also but he may be hit out of his Blazer, or he 
  mightn’t have enough distance) to compensate for his generally weak Dolphin 
  Slash.

- Roy’s Double-Edge Dance (Fwd+B) is easier to pull off than Marth’s Dancing 
  Blade – the timing of your pressing B does not have to be as precise. This 
  does not affect the effectiveness of the actual move much, though.

* Marth’s Counter lasts a lot longer than Roy’s, but deals only 7% damage 
  regardless of the strength of the move being countered. Roy’s Counter is 
  shorter in duration and harder to time, but does about 1.5x the damage of 
  the move being countered. The Counter’s power rises accordingly, and flames 
  the opponent too.

- Marth’s A move – a little sword swipe – can be repeatedly used with very 
  little time inbetween, making for a good frustration move and a good 
  parrying move. Roy’s A move has much more of a pause between swipes.

- Marth and Roy’s spikes differ. Their Down+A (aerial) moves work 
  differently, as do their Dancing Blade strokes. Marth’s spike is more 
  effective.

* Marth has more airtime than Roy and his aerial arcs and slashes seem to be 
  more effective, due to their incredible priority and juggling power when 
  tip-hit. Roy would probably prefer to be a more ground-based character.

* Marth is most deadly in one-on-one combat with his longer reach and wide 
  range of moves, while Roy’s outright power helps him more in a Free-for-All 
  since he can connect freely with his sword and can also use his charge-up 
  moves to greater effect. This is not to say that Marth sucks in melees and 
  Roy is crap at one-on-ones; you’ll just have to alter your style maybe. 
  E.g. with Marth you might want to isolate opponents during fierce melee 
  battles, or at least keep them to one side, lest you get hammered around 
  and become unable to clear out.

It’s easy to see that Roy’s for those who want a hard-hitting pyro, while 
Marth’s grace and versatility appeal to players who are prefer more refined 
combat. I liked the hard-hitting Kirby in the original (read my FAQ! *plug 
plug plug*) so I initially thought I’d go with Roy, but his lightness and 
complete lack of an air game were big turn-offs.

===========================
     7. 1-P Quick Tips
===========================

I said in the intro I wouldn’t have 1P content but I sort of sold out at some 
point.
 
They offered me lots of money to write this, you know.

------------------
   USEFUL MOVES
------------------

Moves that take on special significance while during the various 1-P modes:

SHIELD BREAKER – computers are dumb. Use this whenever the computer has flown 
off and you want a useful edge-guarding implement. Humans will see it coming, 
but not computers! They’ll get knocked the hell off – even if you don’t have 
time to charge it, the Shield Breaker will still send CPUs flying a bit so 
you can repeat the treatment. In normal situations though (on land, that is), 
I prefer Marth’s forward smash since a sweet hit with it is more powerful.

DOLPHIN SLASH - handy for taking out weaker opponents on the earlier 
difficulty levels. Lets you very quickly clear out some team battles so you 
can go for Speed Demon or No Damage Clear or some other bonus like that. This 
doesn’t work once you get to Normal difficulty or above, since the enemies 
are hardier.

COUNTER - good against the best of opponents, with the possible exception of 
Crazy Hand because of his long-lasting, high priority attacks. When you’re on 
the back foot (for you Americans, that means trying to defend against an 
aggressive opponent =P), or trying to come back without getting smashed up by 
Giga Bowser, you can use Counter; it’ll clear out a good deal of space in 
front of you.

DRAGON SLAYER (Forward+A) – the computer may have fast reflexes, but in the 
end it’s still a dumbass. Roll behind a CPU and smash. Repeat. This works on 
all but the hardest difficulties, and can pretty much win Event 51 for you.

WINNING THRUST (Up+A) – the computer sucks at defending against this move. 
Remember that this has surprising lateral range. Try and hit opponents while 
they’re still fairly high above you; if you hit with the tip only, you’ll 
score a sweet hit and the poor CPU fellow will be miles away! If you don’t 
score a sweet hit, you can often just keep executing this move because the 
CPU won’t get knocked too far. This move is also useful in team battles 
because it really, really hurts the weak opposition; this is a useful choice 
when facing the Mr Game & Watches on the easier difficulty settings of All-
Star mode.

SHARP EDGE (Forward+A strong) – this can catch CPUs off guard, and is 
invaluable when you want a quick, ranged move that clears out space in front 
of you. Handy against the wireframes when they gang up on you and you don’t 
want to risk the Dragon Slayer’s extra delay/recovery time.

TAUNT – it gives you 500 extra points if you’re doing it at the end of a 
round.

-----------------------
   LESS USEFUL MOVES
-----------------------

Moves that aren’t as useful in 1-P mode as they may be against humans.

THROWS – don’t try them too much. CPUs, even low-level ones, can dodge and 
counter-throw like crazy. Grrrr.

DANCING BLADE – computers seem to have a good ability to evade this attack, 
or somehow hit you out of it. Use with caution.

WHIRLWIND SLASH (Down+A) – the computer is quick, and can often hit you out 
of this with a soft hit at the start. You can still use this move if you 
start it early and anticipate it, but if you’ve got a fast opponent and 
he/she’s already close to you, use Counter or roll out instead. (Note: This, 
and a lot of the other stuff I say in this section, does not apply during the 
easier difficulties, since the computers are dumb and will not defend against 
anything.)

SWINGING SWIPES (Repeatedly tap A) – these can work somewhat well against 
humans, but computers will dodge, or powershield (so they go all flashing on 
you and cut down on shield stun), or hit you with a light hit. In other 
words, they’ll almost always find a way to get out of this move, and it’s not 
very effective as a keep-away move, either. Don’t ask me why, but the 
computers are good against this move and Dancing Blade. The only exceptions 
are the enemies you face in the easier difficulties, but again, these guys 
can be screwed straight up; no need for this sort of foreplay. =P

-------------------
   USEFUL TRICKS
-------------------

This is stuff that doesn’t really go under the general Tips & Tricks section 
because it’s too limited – i.e. it only works on certain computers or in 
certain situations. So, I’ve lumped it here since it can at least help you 
beat certain 1-P matches/events/whatever.

GENERAL GUIDANCE – whenever possible, roll a lot and get behind opponents. 
Wait for them to start an attack, then roll through them and then throw or 
attack their back, depending on how much damage they have. Try also to use 
little aerial jump-ins, which the CPU doesn’t defend well against. If you’re 
in trouble, just run away to regain your wits; the computers usually aren’t 
too eager to attack right away, although a few aggressive mofos like Captain 
Falcon might actively give chase. Don’t get flustered, and don’t try to beat 
the computers on raw reflexes because it won’t work. All other things being 
equal, they’ll almost always ‘press the button’ first (if you’re playing on a 
high difficulty level) so just use your wits and entice the computers into 
playing false shots or even self-destructing.

TRICKING LINK – whenever you play against CPU Link, always start to run up to 
him and stop about a hookshot’s length away from him, or just hang around at 
that distance. That dumbass Link will most of the time try and throw you. 
Just jump or dodge or roll so the hookshot misses. Now you have a few years 
with which to perform the move of your choice. The Dragon Slayer works well.

KILLING KIRBYS – on the easier difficulties, you can just use your Dolphin 
Slash against the Kirby team, and you’ll score one-hit kills most of the 
time. The same applies for the Yoshis that you meet in the first stage (we’re 
talking Adventure mode here, of course). Don’t try this on Normal and above.

METAL MARIO (& LUIGI) MORONS – they suicide all the time. Just hang around 
the edge of the arena and sooner or later Luigi will Green Missile himself 
off the stage, either through a misfire or through poor judgment. (NOTE: try 
not to stay too close to Luigi if you anticipate his Missile, because a 
misfire that actually hits will probably spell the end for you.) After Luigi 
misfires or uses his Missile incorrectly, go to the edge and make sure that 
he doesn’t use manage to recover, dealing with Mario as best as you can. 
Mario will probably follow suit soon; I guess the plump guy is finally 
feeling the effects of overeating and taking all those shrooms.

The same thing with Luigi applies in the second stage of Adventure mode, 
where you fight Mario and Peach – it’s sometimes good to fight Luigi and 
Peach instead (finish the first stage with a ‘2’ in the seconds’ place of the 
timer) since Luigi sometimes kills himself right at the outset with a 
misfired Green Missile. However, in the harder difficulties Luigi will be a 
very tough opponent, and the chances of a suicide will be relatively small, 
so I usually go for the easier, more predictable Mario & Peach combination.

ITEMS – Don’t blindly go for items because you might get wanked. A container 
might be a booby trap, exploding for 22% damage, or in the case of a four 
Bob-omb party ball, seven billion percent damage. It’s just as annoying if 
you spend twenty seconds battling through to a capsule only to find some 
crap-ass item inside. So, don’t go for containers unless you really need an 
item badly and are feeling lucky...also, don’t go for comparatively tame 
items like the Lip’s Stick and the Star Rod. These might work well in a tight 
battle against humans, but in 1-P mode we’re trying to race through the 
easier difficulties and survive the harder ones, and your sword’s power is 
better than any flashy properties which will never fool the CPUs’ perfect 
timings anyway.

I’m not saying that items are useless. You do, of course, want to go for the 
good items, because they can mean the difference between an easy win and a 
couple of lives lost. Which items to go for?

- Shells. In the first stage, right before the Yoshi fight, I always grab a 
  green shell after dispatching a Koopa Troopa because it’ll usually kill the  
  first trio of Yoshis straight off (throw it horizontally at the one nearest  
  you and the shell will keep going after it hits the first Yoshi), taking  
  off 30% of your workload. Good stuff. Red shells are also useful for team 
  battles, especially on the easier difficulties with weaker opponents, since  
  they can sometimes result in one-hit kills on your opponents and wreak 
  serious havoc.
  
  The red Koopa Kunt on the first stage will flame opponents and is slightly 
  stronger (but slower, I think) than the green shell, but it doesn’t home.    
  It’s still useful though; just make sure the Koopa doesn’t wriggle out of 
  your grasp before you reach the Yoshi area. It’s good to use shells to 
  clear out the first stage because you get a nice lot of damage inflicted – 
  hence you get more points.

- Fans. J.C. explains: “A really useful item for killing CPUs on a 
  team (e.g. the Yoshis on stage one of Adventure mode) is the fan. In your 
  hands, it doesn't do that much damage or have that much power, but when you 
  throw it, it sends them flying farther than any other bludgeoning/slashing 
  item (bat, Beam Sword, Lip's Stick...).”

- Home-Run Bats. I’m sure you know why. Often useful, EXCEPT against teams on 
  easier difficulties where weaker, faster attacks will suffice. Handy for 
  that x10 match in Classic mode. Other whacking items can be useful, but be 
  careful that you know about Marth’s funny double-swing (discussed later in  
  Tips & Tricks). It’s slower, but you get more range and sometimes double 
  hits, which are cool.

- Pokeballs (you can imagine that I bothered to put in one of those funny 
  accented e’s if you want). They can make or break a match. In some stages – 
  e.g. the one against the Pokemon team in Adventure mode – controlling 
  Pokeballs is the sure way to go. Once you’ve unleashed a Pokemon, don’t 
  just stand there; either hit the computer, or keep an eye out for another 
  Pokeball that might drop soon. Lure the CPUs into your Pokeball if you 
  want, for some devious KOs.

- Ray Guns. These are useful when you’re going up against a team of 
  opponents. They’ll usually be weak enough so that one Ray Gun blast will  
  kill them (not outright, as they won’t hit the boundaries, but they’ll be 
  knocked far enough so that they don’t come back on). This, like many other 
  tricks, doesn’t apply in Hard or Very Hard modes since the enemies are 
  hardier and better and coming back onto the stage. Hell, they’ll even 
  powershield the blasts right back at you, so don’t use the Ray Gun or other 
  projectile weapons in those situations.

- Warp Stars. Damn useful. Geno82 adds: “since you didn’t have any item 
  information for warp stars, I’d like to mention a tip that I use. After 
  using a warp star, you normally bounce into the air and leave that little 
  bit of time being vulnerable to other players’ attacks. What you can do is 
  air dodge into the ground directly after hitting with the warp star. This 
  lets you run after another player, save yourself from players expecting to 
  get you in the air, and saves some time. If you don’t want to air dodge, 
  and are fighting a metal opponent with low damage (where he normally 
  wouldn’t move far from a Warp Star hit), you can take the jump and try to 
  spike him into the ground and then get away.”

- Proximity Mines/Bob-ombs. Proxy mines are always good because the computer 
  doesn’t seem to defend against them. HAHAHAHAHA. Take that. Bob-ombs are  
  also good because, well, they’re damn powerful, and the best of computers 
  can still fall to them. I think that CPUs could theoretically catch or 
  powershield these items, but I’ve never seen it happen. Do be alert, 
  though.

- Hammers. Well duh. Game, set and match. It’s not the end of the world if 
  the CPU gets the hammer; run and jump away and hope the computer commits 
  suicide. You shouldn’t have TOO much trouble evading the hammer as long as 
  you’re on a fair-sized arena; Marth’s jumps and speed are usually good 
  enough. If you’re evil, you can actually Counter hammer-wielding players; 
  this is especially useful near the edge of an arena since they’ll be hit 
  off the stage and be unable to recover!

- Metal Boxes. Usually good, since you can kinda go berserk and not worry 
  about getting kicked around too much. Don’t use this if you’re on a shaky 
  stage from which you might fall, or if you’re fighting more than two 
  opponents (‘cause if you’re metal, you’re easier to juggle). Handy for the 
  Battlefield stage because it negates the annoying effects of low gravity. 
  Everything above applies for the Super Shroom, which is similarly useful.

- Heart Containers, Maxim Tomatoes, Party Ball food (not isolated morsels 
  which often aren’t worth your trouble) and Starmen (stars). Of course you 
  want these goodies that extend your life. The invincibility Star lets you 
  unleash around eight seconds of hell on those CPUs. Use your time wisely.

WAIT...WAIT...BE PATIENT! The enemies in 1-P mode tend not to be all that 
intelligent, even in the harder difficulties. It’s always good to charge up a 
smash attack beforehand and then unleash it on the enemy as soon as he/she 
comes within range. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a sweet hit. This obviously 
won’t work with humans, but CPUs sometimes don’t know better.

SMASHING FUN – it’s interesting to note that CPUs rarely charge their smash 
attacks – some, like the Ice Climbers, will do it fairly often but others 
will almost never do it. This is handy, because you won’t have to worry about 
compies taking full advantage of you (eww...) when you’re shield broken or 
recovering, but the downside is that the CPUs will always attack relatively 
quickly.

ONE-SIDED BOUT – with a few rare exceptions, the computers don’t team up 
well. When you fight multiple opponents, they will try and win with brute 
numbers, not smart reasoning. They will attack you, perhaps at the same time, 
but they don’t attack logically. They won’t have one opponent projectile you, 
then another opponent grab you, and then another smash you. They’ll just all 
three projectile you or smash you or something. To take advantage of this, 
just stay on one side of the opponents (don’t get caught up in the middle! 
Marth can’t clear out too well, and his Whirlwind Slash could be too slow!) 
and use the superior range of your blade to sweetly smack them over and over. 
The end. Even Event 51 is a cinch with this, and the only thing that might 
hinder you is the stage. Which brings me to the next tip...

THOSE &@$#ING NESSES – don’t you hate that stage in Adventure mode (in Onett) 
where you play those three Nesses? They’re relatively hardy and good fighters 
in the higher difficulties, and Mr Saturn runs amok, breaking up half of your 
attacks. What’s more, the stage cramps you up and isn’t ideal for Marth. My 
advice is to use Shield Breaker – both as a keep-away move and as a finisher 
– and Counter liberally, and use your air attacks. Don’t do anything like 
your Winning Thrust (Up+A) that will leave you open. Also, fight on the sides 
of the arena, not the centre; it’s easier to kill the Nesses this way, you 
don’t have to worry about the cars since you’re above ground, you have more 
aerial space, and you don’t have to worry about those awnings in the centre 
screwing up the fighting.

My most important tip would be to be patient; take three minutes if you have 
to, because the worst thing that could happen is you get pissed off here and 
throw your lives (and your quest) away. Occasionally you get lucky and manage 
to hit them towards the edges for an easy one-minute win, but these are 
exceptions to the rule.

HEADSTART – when you get killed, you’re invincible for a few seconds when you 
respawn. Against CPU opponents, you can use this to your advantage: quickly 
drop off the floating platform (just tilt the control stick or press a 
button) and go for your opponents. They don’t seem to understand that you’re 
invincible, and won’t run away – in fact, they’ll sometimes keep fighting 
you. This gives you two or three good seconds in which to land as many hits 
as you can, and is a must for tough fights like Giga Bowser. The Dancing 
Blade can be painful here.

SAY YOUR PRAYERS – if you’re playing Classic mode on the harder difficulties 
and you’re going for a really good score, then you’d better pray that the x10 
team that you face won’t be of a heavy character! Even on the hardest mode, 
ten Pichus or Mr Game and Watches aren’t too hard, because they’re light; 
however, if you face ten Donkey Kongs, it’ll be a huge challenge since each 
of these guys is fairly heavy (not as heavy as DK usually would be, but there 
are three of them). Whether I die on this stage often depends on the enemy, 
so luck is a big factor here. I doff my hat to you if you can get through ten 
DKs on very hard without breaking a sweat (or your controller)!

GIGA BOWSER – note that he is MUCH harder on Adventure mode (hard/very hard) 
than he is in Event 51. The last event is a cinch if you’re not unlucky and 
know how to keep all the enemies on one side and forward-smash repeatedly. 
However, the Giga Bowser you (might) face at the end of your Adventure is 
much more aggressive.

Just play calmly and methodically. The fight is hardest at the beginning, 
because Giga Bowser won’t be sent very far with even the strongest of your 
hits and so you’ll have to sneak in, hit him once, and then roll back out 
before he can counterattack. After you raise his damage to about 140-150% or 
more, you can be more aggressive and hit him consecutive times as he 
recovers.

Don’t dash up to him – he’ll throw you or use a tilt-A attack to fend you 
off. Giga Bowser’s smashes finish you off, but his strong attacks are the 
ones that hold you at bay and raise your damage. Don’t fall into the trap of 
approaching him directly (don’t even roll too much, as he’ll throw you) and 
instead let him come up to you (but don’t let him come too close) and wait 
for him to make a move. If he uses the Bowser Bomb, shield for your life and 
then charge up your Dragon Slayer, which should be your move of choice. If he 
starts using Fire Breath, either roll through it (you might take slight 
damage) and then attack him from the back, or just ignore it and roll away.

Aim to hang around at a moderate distance (evading attacks as they come), 
away from Giga Bowser’s grabs but also close enough to quickly roll in and 
strike, or perhaps try a Dragon Slayer from afar for a sweet hit. DON’T grab 
Giga Bowser – you can’t, as far as I know – and DON’T try and be pretty. It’s 
no use using strong attacks to set up for smashes like you would normally, 
because this guy’s too heavy and he’ll simply abuse his priority and 
strength.

Roll around if you feel you’re getting cornered. Jump-ins are risky and not 
advised early on. Giga Bowser doesn’t use items too well, so don’t fret too 
much if he gets his hands on one. You should exploit any items you get.

In addition to Pokeballs, Bob-ombs and Motion Sensor Mines (place them near 
the edge for assistance with edge guarding), you can also exploit projectile 
items such as Star Rods, Super Scopes or even Ray Guns. Star Rods can raise 
damage very well. Giga Bowser doesn’t shield against these very well, which 
is a godsend. Star Rods can be thrown at Giga Bowser to stun him and, at 
higher damages, edge-guard (he’ll be sent horizontally and downwards...). 
Even the lowly Flipper can humble Giga Bowser if he’s caught in it. Be on the 
lookout for maxim tomatoes.

After Giga gets to the 150% damage mark, start hitting him consecutive times. 
Hit him when he bounces off the ground (since CPUs rarely insta-recover), and 
even edge guard. If you’re killed at any stage, then quickly hop off the 
angel platform (assuming you have lives left...) and launch everything you 
can at Giga Bowser in the few seconds of invincibility granted to you.

If you’re knocked off, use Counter when coming back on, or aim for the ledge 
with your Dolphin Slash. You can also try an air dodge onto the stage. Beware 
of Giga Bowser’s Up+A smash, which can kill you at very low damages and is a 
nasty punishment for jumping around too much or using your Dolphin Slash at 
the wrong time. Never simply Dolphin Slash right onto the stage – grab the 
ledge, or use a defensive manoeuvre (Counter/air dodge) whilst coming back.

ALL STAR MODE... Marth is not the best character for all-star mode because of 
his weaknesses against multiple characters and projectile opponents. 

OUCH – this is annoying. When you’re near the boundaries of the arena (you 
will appear in the magnifying glass and those three arrows will hurriedly 
direct you to the centre of the stage) you will take 1% damage per second. 
This is really annoying if you’re trying to get Impervious or No Damage 
Clear.

QUICKLY NOW! – one final rule. When in doubt, be quick. The CPU doesn’t like 
quick, well-executed swordplay. Use your neutral, dashing and strong A-button 
attacks to up damage and set up for a nasty smash at the end. This will often 
work, even in Hard or Very Hard difficulties, and is extremely useful 
(although this strategy tends only to work against single opponents). Marth’s 
built for this kind of play; he strikes fluidly and with great range and 
priority, so exploit it.

Whenever I’m on my last life I just throw all caution out the window and go 
at it, and it often works; you’d be surprised how far I can get in Adventure 
mode on Very Hard difficulty just by being really risky and aggressive.

=================================
     8. Character Strategies
=================================


   (Done thus far: *=incomplete)
   Bowser, Donkey Kong, Falco*, Fox*, Ganondorf*, Ice Climbers*, Jigglypuff,   
   Link, Sheik, Young Link

------------
   Bowser
------------

Bowser’s moves are powerful, and they vary in speed from his forward smash, 
which is horrendously slow, to his aerial moves which can be surprisingly 
fast. The key is to always be prepared. It’s unlikely that you’ll get hit by, 
say, his forward smash, because it’s just too damn slow, but it is a menace 
if you ever decide to get shield broken. Other attacks are much more 
dangerous in general play; his Whirling Fortress (Up+B) is a pain and hard to 
counter, due to its quickness and its multi-hit property in the air. Beware 
of this, as it can raise damage.

The same thing applies to Bowser’s downward smash on the ground. If you’re 
expecting these moves to come out, quickly roll, then forward smash. You’ve 
got plenty of time to prepare since Bowser’s moves are generally of long 
duration and have high amounts of recovery time. Moves like your Down+A smash 
and the Dancing Blade work well since they come out quickly, at the expense 
of some recovery time (which shouldn’t be too bad since Bowser will be 
knocked away and unable to follow up). The Dancing Blade tends to work really 
well on a big, heavy target like Bowser; go for all four hits. Don’t give 
Bowser much time between hits or moves, because he can sometimes execute a 
quick attack and break out if you’re not careful.

Careful in the air; Bowser’s A-moves come out quickly. Counter wherever 
possible (but not too much), or use your neutral A in the air (comes out 
quickly, multiple hits, good priority and gives you breathing space). It’s 
very important not to get carried away because Bowser’s Down+B is immensely 
powerful, and if you use your air dodge or Up+B recovery move at the wrong 
time Bowser can really pounce. Stay on the lookout and it’ll be alright, 
though.

The only other move that’ll give you fits is Bowser’s fire breath. This makes 
it impossible to attack from the front, and you can’t Counter a continuous 
stream. You can jump in, but you might be playing right into Bowser’s 
hands...make sure that you can get in the first hit if you do jump in (there 
is some recovery time from the fire breath which might give you a split 
second’s advantage). If you’re not careful, you’ll likely take an Up+A smash 
right in the guts, or Bowser will roll away and then attack you with some 
other move. Dangerous. If you’re not sure of yourself, just roll away and 
wait.

It’s important to be patient with Bowser; use your quick but long-ranged 
strong moves to set up for smashes and Dancing Blade. Keep at a distance. 
Roll, and attack from the back. Whatever you do, don’t give Bowser a chance – 
use your Dolphin Slash only if absolutely necessary so he can’t capitalise on 
your situation when you’re falling to the ground.

-----------------
   Donkey Kong
-----------------

Somewhat underrated for some reason – perhaps it’s because his N64 adventure 
didn’t go too smoothly. Donkey Kong can give you some problems if you’re not 
careful, since his hits and throws have good range, priority and power. His 
forward smash hits from afar, comes out relatively quickly and can knock you 
to Jupiter and back. The same applies to DK’s Giant Punch, which can be hard 
to counter because of its increased speed in coming out – this makes it a 
more effective weapon than in the original, although its actual power seems 
to have been toned down slightly. Getting close to DK results in getting 
thrown, while his smashes and Down+B have good range; luckily for you, you 
have an advantage in the air with your nice arcs and Counter. Try and soften 
DK up with some fast strong attacks, fend him off with your (neutral A-
button) swipes, then go in for the smashes. He’s not too good at defence and 
countering as long as you’re wary, so that’s good.

You’ll probably get a lot of hits on him with your strong and smash forward 
attacks, as well as your Down+A Whirlwind Slash; anything that comes out 
quickly is useful. Your Down+A also sets up well for an aerial sequence, 
which is useful because of the slowness of some of DK’s aerial moves. They 
can outpower you if you’re slow, but Marth’s slashes should be fast enough 
that you don’t have to worry. A quick but controlled aerial sequence works 
nicely, and upon landing, the Dancing Blade can hurt DK due to his heaviness 
and susceptibility to combos. Little hops followed by an aerial slash also 
work well since DK will be surprised, and his Up+A smash (which is a good 
anti-air and a favourite of some DK players) is slow to come out.

Use your speed, and more importantly, your increased agility and precision. 
DK can match it up well, so if you’re going to make a real push for it, make 
sure you’ve got a good chance of hitting lest DK just dodge/roll and then 
whack you.

---------------
   Falco/Fox
---------------

First up, Andrew Chen has some general tips for playing against the two:

“Yep, it's the two most annoying opponents for Marth (well, for me anyways). 
I think the best way for a Marth player to deal with these two, is to fight 
vertically. What I mean is, don’t fight on an even level with them: go on
platforms, then come on down, then go up again, jump to another platform 
diagonally from you, then jump to another one, etc. I've found it's best to 
keep em in the air, and preferably with some space in between. By doing this, 
you eliminate their incredibly annoying combo: Roll behind you and then rapid 
standard A, which can trap Marth oh so easily.

“Also, Countering these guys in the air is A LOT easier than doing so on an 
even level, since most of their attacks are so quick, and they can pull em 
off one right after another. But in the air, they can only do one or two, and 
if you time it right, Marth's Counter can be deadly to em.”

---------
   Fox
---------

-----------
   Falco
-----------

---------------
   Ganondorf
---------------

Cous1000 can start us off with his advice:

“For Ganondorf, I usually try to keep my distance for a while until he 
attacks because he is slow. I always use Marth's speed to my advantage. If 
Ganondorf comes running at me, attack is all I can think about. I usually do 
the running sword swipe attack and one of two things happens: 1. I get the 
hit and start a long, long juggle making Ganondorf regret what he just did, 
or it gets cancelled. With his sword extending way out, you won't have to 
worry much. The only move I really worry about is the Wizard's Foot because 
than can come out of nowhere on the ground. His Up+B attack (Dark Dive) can 
be simply countered by doing an air shield breaker. As long as you keep your 
distance then Marth will always be hitting with the tip of his sword every 
time.”


----------------
   Jigglypuff
----------------

Jigglypuff is quite good now, even more so than in the original. She has some 
strong ground attacks, and her Forward+A is almost reminiscent of Kirby’s 
from the original SSB! (In fact, Jigglypuff’s attributes – quick but powerful 
moves, a good drill kick, a strong Down+B and all-round good launching power 
– make her play more like the original Kirby than the new Kirby does! Which 
explains why I like her. And yes, I’m calling it a ‘her’, because of the bow, 
and the voice, and just about everything else.)

Anyway, beware of her flaming, 28% damage Rest (Down+B), which can kill 
anyone, even Giga Bowser, at horribly low amounts of damage. Her drill kick 
no longer provides such a good setup for Rest, but that’s okay since a good 
jiggles player can set it up in other ways. It’s the finisher of choice, but 
by no means is it the only one; her Up+A works well as an anti-air, and she 
can knock you pretty far with her Forward+A and a moderately charged Rollout. 
Don’t do anything stupid or rash – Jiggly will capitalise on any moves with 
long recovery times, as well as misused Dolphin Slashes – and stay away. You 
have a huge range advantage, so never get in too close. Your Down+A and 
Forward+A aerial slashes work well against Jigglypuff, who is reasonably 
powerful in the air but lacks range in certain directions. Abuse this, but 
never get too hasty because a quick hop and Rest on Jiggly’s part will end in 
you being KO’d.

A few good sweet whacks will spell the end for Jiggly; you don’t have to 
charge or go for anything fancy. Remember that her shield being broken 
results in an automatic KO. Marth’s Shield Breaker is obviously a good thing 
to have, then. Counter/dodge her normal attacks and Pound (Fwd+B), or nullify 
them with your quick A-button swipes, then go for your forward smash. Up+A 
(tilt or smash) works beautifully against a Jigglypuff who’s ambitious enough 
to try and jump in for the downward drill and/or Rest. Shield against 
Jiggly’s more powerful attacks, like her B-button Rollout, and either roll 
away or throw. Just make sure you don’t get into any aerial combos – use your 
Dolphin Slash or even an aerial Dancing Blade to hack your way out if you 
must – and then use your superior footspeed and range on the ground to stick 
it up the ‘puff.

----------
   Link
----------

If there’s one character that pisses me off, it’s Mewtwo. (You know, the 
whole attitude thing, the defensive playing style, that damn purple energy, 
and so on.) But Link isn’t far behind. Relative to the other characters, he 
isn’t quite as strong as in the original (although a few of his moves, for 
example the aerial Down+A and the second slash of his Forward+A smash, are 
nasty), but he has better jumps, a bloody annoying hookshot and his overused, 
overrated Up+B move. All sorts of players like to use him, and it can be 
pretty damn annoying fighting an oversized elf like Link.

His l33t projectiles shouldn’t be much of a problem – parry the boomerang and 
the arrows (block if you must), and either catch his bombs or roll away. The 
projectiles tend to stun you a bit and set up nicely for Link’s forward 
smash, so don’t get caught out. Counter works at close range. Try to never 
let Link get comfy with projectile bombardment; you want to throw him off his 
rhythm by shutting off this facet of this game.

More annoying than his projectiles is his hookshot, which some Link players 
(including the CPU) use like mad. If you’re not used to dealing with this you 
will be badly hurt because the hookshot has more range than any of your 
moves, so if you’re within range Link can hookshot you and none of your 
attacks will stop it (Counter doesn’t work against throws). The best way to 
avoid getting thrown is to jump, roll or dodge right when Link uses his 
hookshot. It takes good awareness and reflexes but it’s not too hard with 
training.

A handy thing to do is to pre-empt any further hookshot attempts by getting 
somewhat close to Link and drawing his hookshot – you’ll be ready for it and 
you can dodge it. After this you have a good deal of time to charge up your 
forward smash or whatever attack you want to and whack Link around. It tends 
to make Link players wary. However, you still have to take the hookshot into 
consideration whenever you’re moving in – once you’ve engaged Link in combat 
it’s too slow for him to use, but at medium ranges it’s a bitch. Always have 
a jump or roll handy when you’re approaching him.

That’s one of the keys to playing Link – you have to nullify the effect of 
his throws and projectiles. Good Link players want to keep you away from 
them, since there’s nothing you can do from afar. To get close you’ll just 
have to parry, dodge and roll your way in. You are much more nimble and quick 
on the sword than Link is, so that works in your favour once you do get 
close. Link can use his Up+B move on the ground as a quick and surprising 
clear-out - don’t look for most Link players to use it much, as it gets 
predictable after a while and has bad recovery, but used sparingly it’s very 
effective. Never get too confident when approaching Link, and keep your 
fingers ready for a block/Counter or roll/dodge depending on the move (if in 
doubt, roll away – you’ll have to approach Link again, but at least rolling 
away protects you from whatever’s coming). Don’t try jumping in, as Link’s 
strong and smash attacks will make it hard for you.

Once you’re in close, you can use your tilt-A attacks like the Sharp Edge to 
parry and set up. Beware of Link’s three-hit combo (A, A, A), which can eat 
through your attacks. If he starts this, just block and throw. In close, your 
grabs work well, and they also set up for aerial juggles, so use them. Once 
you can get something going with Link, you should aim to punish him as much 
as possible. His neutral+A in the air (a little kick) comes out quickly and 
can interrupt your moves, as can his Backwards+A, but if you keep your 
attacks quick and sharp and don’t get too close, you’ll be okay. Link’s Up+B 
clearout is effective only to his side and above him, so juggling with your 
Up+A Luna Slash is alright. Hell, most aerial moves are okay if you’re quick 
(although it does depend on how much Link has been stunned).

If in doubt, don’t try for anything risky, because Link does have that 
bastardly Down+A in the air that will skewer you. If you think he’s about to 
do this, air-dodge as best you can, although you shouldn’t really be in the 
air anyway if he’s not stunned. On the ground, just block and grab him, toss 
him up and start a quick juggle (remember, hit him while he’s still stunned 
and it should be okay). You can actually counter Link’s aerial Down+A with an 
Up+A smash (or even your tilt Up+A, the Upper Slash) but you need good timing 
and positioning, and you may not have enough time to pull it off (the Upper 
Slash comes out faster but is much harder to time and has less priority). 
Don’t try unless you’re very, very confident.

Basically, fighting Link is about getting in close, then using your fast 
swordplay and parrying abilities to corner him and get in some nice strong 
hits. Start off with a weak or strong hit, and build up to a smash attack, 
using attacks like your Sharp Edge or Upper Slash to keep Link stunned and 
prevent from counter-attacks. He can strike back pretty meanly, but only if 
you give him an opportunity – his best moves are slow in coming out – and if 
you use those strong attacks you should shut him down. Don’t jump in; 
approach him from the ground, and when juggling be careful of his powerful 
(but slow) aerial moves. It’s tough, but if you can get his measure your 
speed and agility will see you through.

-----------
   Sheik
-----------

*** I was going to write a strategy for Sheik, but then Andrew Baer 
(jamman8009@earthlink.net) wrote one for me! Convenient since I’m not good 
with this character. Much thanks to him for writing this up – it’s good 
enough that I’ll just use it as is.***

Zelda is probably the only character in SSBM who can claim to be absolutely 
unique because she is two characters in one. Zelda with her massive air 
attacks, cool special moves, great throws, and the largest teleport in the 
game; and lightning fast Sheik who is the hyperactive juggler. This gives her 
a massive number of tactics to use against you so you'll need to be on the 
bounce. When the fight begins there are two things you can generally expect a 
Zelda person to do: first they might shoot Din's fire at you in hopes of an 
early hit: second they immediately transform into Sheik, if they haven't done 
so before the match begins (by pressing Down+B before the round).

First, check if it's a small stage. If it is and your opponent does either of 
what I said above then run towards her and do your best to hit early, 
hopefully getting her into a juggling combo. If it's a larger stage then it's 
probably better to simply block the Din's Fire (don't try to Counter) and/or 
let her transform and come to you.

Now I'm going concentrate on Sheik since I'm honestly have not fought against 
any good Zelda players and Sheik's the one most people use anyway. There are 
two things they're likely to do: be aggressive or be a turtle. If they decide 
to be aggressive they will either attack with the dash attack, quick jump 
kicks, or roll around and use her A moves and throws to combo you. In all 
cases keep her away with your forward A (strong) and crouching A-button 
moves. Your Counter will be a huge advantage so be ready with it, but you 
must be able to use it unexpectedly. Also, because of the nature of her dash 
attack, it may go through your Counter and leave you undamaged but with her 
behind you. If you fail and she's able to juggle you, use your advantage in 
reach (range) to hit or use counter, or air dodge.

Now if your opponent decides to use her needles and chain and play the turtle 
go ahead and attack like you might with Fox or Falco. Just keep the pressure 
on and use the reach of your sword. Try your throws sometimes too. Just don't 
be too aggressive and let her get behind you. Finally watch out for her down 
and forward A smashes since they have surprising range. Also, remember she 
can hold her needles; she doesn't have to release them immediately.

When you get her in the 40-50% you can be more aggressive. Use your reach and 
keep her and yourself on the ground. Only juggle when you know you can do so. 
Bust out with the Dragon Slayer, Shield Breaker (don't try charging it), and 
the occasional sword dance. She's light so one good hit with the sword's 
sweet spot and she's flying. If she gets knocked out for a short distance 
they'll probably stay as Sheik and teleport back in. Don't try to spike her 
from the air or let her teleport too close to you since she'll make a small 
explosion. If she's far away they (your opponent) will switch to Zelda for 
the extra range. In either case, use your Shield Breaker and an all down B 
Sword Dance. Caution: if you know she'll be able teleport straight back to 
the platform; don't get on the edge because your back will be exposed.

Some final tips -

1) Don't challenge her in the air unless you’re confident in your timing of 
your moves – you have a slight range advantage but Sheik’s air attacks are 
very potent. Do not try juggling too much because Sheik’s recovery from her 
and your attacks is very fast. Try and force her to play on the ground, but 
don’t be too hesitant to maybe jump in with a forward+A/aerial move or chain 
a few moves together in the air, but be careful.

2) If you're getting comboed and you find yourself kissing the ground, try 
letting yourself lay on the ground and then press A to come up swinging, or 
roll away at the last minute. Do not lie on the ground for too long - you 
have only limited invincibility. Sheik can easily hit you while you lie with 
her dash and forward A smash, so use this tactic with good timing so you can 
surprise her and not leave yourself too vulnerable.

3) Try the Dolphin Slash to escape combos and push her away. It's very fast 
and it will send her flying if you're close enough.

4) Remember that the crouch A (strong) works very well at keep away. Crouch A 
=> forward+A smash is, as always, a deadly option.

5) DON'T OVERUSE DODGE AND COUNTER! [Editor's note: I think what he means is 
that Sheik can take advantage of bad dodging/Counters with her speed, so be 
sure that you use them purposefully - random dodges mightn't be a problem 
against slower opponents, but you will be punished for them here.]

6) Randomly pull out the Dragon Slayer and Shield Breaker. [Do be careful 
though.]

7) Make use of platforms (like in Fountain of Dreams). Your sword can go 
through these while she can't do anything. Try using an all up B Sword Dance 
combo with or an up A (strong). This will completely negate her air 
advantage.

8) Be unpredictable and try and throw Sheik players off their rhythm. They 
must be fast and precise, so any uncertainty will wreak havoc with the flow 
of their game. When using the sword dance try speeding it up or slowing it 
down in the middle of it, and otherwise use your range and reach to dictate 
terms to your advantage. [Editor’s note: I wouldn’t use the sword dance too 
much, due to its low priority: keep it tight knit, and use only sparingly.] 
Be patient and bait Sheik so you can set up with a tilt-A attack, or 
otherwise make a move. Sheik players love to rush and can get impatient if 
their rhythm is slowed or changed.

----------------
   Young Link
----------------

Well, this little twerp is similar to Link so much of what I said for him 
above applies for Young Link as well. The main difference is that Young Link 
is even more of a projectiler; he won’t even try to fight up-front most of 
the time, especially against you. He has less power, priority and range, 
meaning that you can damage him nastily up-close (you have the longest sword 
in the game, and Y. Link has the shortest) but Young Link is also quicker and 
more nimble.

Young Link often depends on projectiles to set up. His boomerang is 
versatile, but still generally easy to parry or block. His arrow and bombs 
are pains, though – they’ll flame you and turn you into target practice for 
Young Link. You must parry, block or otherwise evade (roll, but make sure you 
get far enough away to escape the long arrow shaft) his arrows, and jump/ 
roll/block to avoid the bombs. Neither of the two are easily Countered so 
don’t try. Just make sure you shield and roll/dodge past them – never let Y. 
Link get too projectile-happy because that opens up his whole game. Marth may 
not have any projectiles to counter with, but you do have a good roll and 
other ways to get past them.

Young Link’s hookshot is just as bad as Link’s – once again, beware. Same 
goes for his Up+B spinny thing which is even more annoying than Link’s since 
it sucks you in on the ground if you’re close enough, and juggles very well 
in the air. At least its range is decreased. Treat these the same as Link’s.

Get past all this though and Young Link can be pretty vulnerable. Strike 
quickly once you get within range – if you’re quick and prepared, you can 
avoid his hookshot as well as his quick sword strokes. It’s not hard to hurt 
him with your Sharp Edge, smashes, and aerial juggles because of your range 
advantage. Just remember that he does tend to recover faster than Link, but 
you can still have a go at him because his aerial moves are toned down. You 
should still beware of his Down+A stab in the air, though, as it remains 
fairly strong.

Basically, treat Young Link as a weaker yet faster version of Link. You will 
pay for any mix-ups with his projectiles, so make sure you know how to get by 
them. In close, Young Link has faster sword slashes but less range, so as 
long as you can get in and strike once, you can use your nice range and 
priority to get past Y. Link’s defences and hurt him a good deal. Grabs work 
against a Y. Link who’s shield-happy, and your speed and aerial range work 
against an evasive Young Link. Y. Link can be pretty crafty and is 
surprisingly hard to finish off, but as long as you can evade the projectiles 
and spot throws coming you’ll be alright. Remember to use tilt-A (strong) 
moves and grabs to set up (Young Link is vulnerable to grabs as he does not 
have any one move with moderate range that effectively and quickly repels) 
and then press your advantage.

==========================
     9. Tips & Tricks
==========================

These tips and tricks are mostly meant for use against humans, as they’re 
strategy-type hints. See 1P Quick Tips for tips against CPU opponents.

The first tip is the most important...

KNOW MARTH’S STYLE! He is meant to be more of a free-flowing, one-on-one type 
of character. In melees, sit back and let opponents come to you; or, go at 
them, but keep a sword’s distance away from your enemies if at all possible, 
and keep them on one side of you.

Whenever you isolate someone try to stay with him/her as long as possible. 
Use your long ranging strong/neutral-A attacks to their full potential; they 
won’t kill anyone, but they rack up lots of damage! You can’t play Marth very 
well as a dart-in, dart-out player because his moves aren’t consistently 
strong enough. You have to go in, commit to whomever you’re facing, and fight 
consistently and strongly. If you’re going to play hit and run, you MUST be 
able to connect with the tip of your blade very often, or even the best hits 
will come to nothing.

BE UNPREDICTABLE. Marth is quick. Most of his moves are quick and ranged. So, 
do what you want – go to the air and use your great arcs and semicircles; 
dash around and try to psyche opponents out; roll and dodge; whatever. Don’t 
get stuck in a pattern, and use your speed and quick attacks to lure 
opponents into traps: dash and Counter right before you reach an opponent, or 
dash and immediately jump => air-dodge, then try and hit your opponent as 
he/she is recovering. Basically, just vary with your running, jumping, and 
move timing – little hops here and there followed by aerial arcs make for 
good jump-in attacks, and quick swipes can parry.

For example, in the air you can press Backwards+B to turn around and do a 
quick Dancing Blade stroke. Or, you can tap Backwards, let go and then press 
B to do a Shield Breaker – opponents won’t know till the attack comes out 
that you’re going to turn around, so it’s handy for surprising opponents. 
These two methods are (as far as I know) the only ways you can switch 
directions in the air (pressing Backwards+A makes you do an attack in the 
opposite direction but that’s only because it was intended as a backwards 
attack; your actual direction doesn’t change).

SMART SHIELDING - while shielding, you can tap Up or press X/Y to immediately 
jump. There’s no gap or animation between your shielding and your jump, which 
can surprise opponents. This doesn’t work with all characters, but it does 
with Marth, which is all that counts!

SHIELDING TIPS - tapping Down on the control stick only tilts your shield or 
makes you dodge; because of the new dodging feature, you can’t drop down from 
platforms while shielding like you could in the original SSB.

ROLL! This is your main avenue of escape in multi-man melees, and will save 
your ass time and time again. You’re invincible during your roll, and it’s 
quick and long, so why not use it? There’s little recovery time, so rolling 
is great for evading OR confusing your opponent. Roll behind an opponent and 
smash; it sounds basic, but that strategy can work quite well, especially 
against slowpokes. Rolling near the edge of the stage will result in you 
rolling stationarily once you hit the edge – that is, you won’t roll off the 
stage. It’s nice to know that you can’t kill yourself rolling this way, and 
more importantly, rolling at the ends of the stages serves as a long dodge 
(since you aren’t actually going anywhere, it’s more of a dodge than a roll) 
that can trick edge guarders and the like.

DODGE (Tap Down while shielding)! The CPU doesn’t dodge, but you should. It’s 
like a very quick parry – you’re totally invincible during a dodge and the 
recovery time is not much (it should take your opponent longer to recover 
from his/her attack than it should take you to recover from your dodge) so 
you want to do this. Don’t dodge little moves that your opponent can easily 
follow up on; instead, dodge grabs and other moves that your opponent commits 
himself to. For example, if Ganondorf is right next to you he might try a 
quick Up+B seeing as how you can’t shield against it or jump away. In this 
situation, you can dodge, and then you’ll have tons of time to counter-
attack. Get your timing right and dodging will become a useful part of your 
game, even if you don’t do it often.

CROUCH! DonBazooka has some great information about crouching that I 
completely overlooked: “I've noticed that when you crouch it stabilizes your 
character far more than standing does. Marth has a decent crouching attack 
that is quick and annoying [and can be comboed!]. Crouching and poking 
someone is very useful because many times you'll either block [nullify his 
move] or attack the other person. Even if you do get hit, you won't be sent 
flying like you would if you were standing.” Shadow Spectre adds: 
“[Crouching] keeps me alive in multiplayer until 200%+ because it makes you 
fly about a fourth less.” The actual reduction in how far you fly may be up 
to 50% (try it!) so crouching is damn handy indeed.

PARRY! This is one of Marth’s strong points and can really annoy opponents 
who are trying to annoy you. Parrying involves using a weak A-button move 
(the Falchion Slash (neutral A), Sharp Edge (forward+A strong) and Leg Slash 
(dash+A) are the usual parry moves) to nullify (that is, counter) an 
opponent’s move or projectile. To parry, simply execute a weak but fast sword 
stroke like the Falchion Slash when an opponent attacks you. Your stroke will 
come out quickly and should meet the opponent’s attack/projectile in mid-
stroke. When this happens, your two attacks will (usually) cancel each other 
out, with a little blue circular hit mark and a *cling!* sound telling you 
that the two attacks have cancelled. Because of Marth’s speed with his blade 
and his good priority, parrying can work on strong attacks.

Indeed, it’s the lack of start-up delay and recovery time with Marth’s weak 
strokes that makes parrying so efficient – weak attacks can be parried, but 
neither of you will gain much of an edge, while strong attacks that are 
parried will leave your opponent recovering while you can almost immediately 
follow up your weakish stroke. In addition, parrying serves as a nice 
alternative to rolling (you don’t have to move away), shielding (there’s less 
recovery time since you don’t get shield-stunned) and dodging/powershielding 
(easier to time). Marth is one of the best parries – no one can match his 
quick strokes (there’s more of a gap between Roy’s weak slashes), 
insignificant recovery time and good range. Use your Falchion Slash against 
little moves and projectiles. The Sharp Edge works well against bouncier 
projectiles or situations where a little more reach and urgency are needed.

Parrying is most effective against projectile-users and quick-hitters. You 
can use your neutral-A and tilt/dashing-A strokes to easily nullify 
projectiles while advancing forward at the same time, and you can turn the 
tables on the quick-hitters through parrying instead of shielding their 
attacks (thus giving you a way of countering their quickness). You can parry 
against heavyweights and power-hitters too, of course, but with them it’s 
usually better to go for a hit since their moves are slower than yours.

After a parry the momentum is with you – you can follow up with a move or 
other action of your choice. Utilise your long sword – keep at least half a 
sword-length away from your opponent at most times so that they don’t try and 
overwhelm you parrying with really little infinite-combo type moves (these 
moves usually won’t reach too far, so you don’t have to worry, and in these 
situations you can start up a powerful move or you can roll out). If your 
opponent does not or cannot respond to your parry (perhaps because he/she is 
using a slower character and is recovering) then you can feel free to set up 
a little sequence. For example, use your Sharp Edge to set up an aerial hit 
or your Dragon Slayer.

Parrying doesn’t work against long throws or grabbing moves (like Captain 
Falcon’s Up+B) but against other moves it can work as a handy shield, with 
good range, speed and little recovery.

*Note: quite a few people have mentioned parrying to me, since I was stupid 
enough to leave it out of the first version of the FAQ. Thanks to everyone 
who mentioned this to me, especially Howard and Nester, whose information I 
paraphrased here.

JUGGLE! Juggling is using a succession of attacks to keep an opponent in the 
air and unable to escape easily from your attacks. Juggling is achieved by 
launching the opponent into the air first (anyone can do this – just throw 
the opponent, or use an upward attack on the ground, or wait for your 
opponent to jump and leave himself open) and then starting a string of well-
timed moves. If you have a character that has fast aerial attacks, you can 
keep your opponent in the air and use your attacking speed to ensure that he 
finds it difficult to regain his wits and recover. It’s a great way of really 
annoying someone, and racking up lots of damage. You can even kill an 
opponent by hitting him into the stratosphere, but the main focus of juggling 
with Marth is damage raising.

Yes – Marth can juggle. When you see a swordsman who can genuinely juggle, 
you know that you’re onto something good. None of the other swordsmen can 
juggle: Link and Young Link have WAY too much recovery time on their aerial 
moves, and their overused overrated spinny thing doesn’t really count as a 
juggle. Roy can’t do much because it’s hard to get any real force behind his 
aerials (due to the way his sword works) and plus he drops too fast. So with 
whom are we left? Marth. One of the best jugglers in the game.

Note that Marth has fairly good jumps, and travels far vertically. Moreover, 
he floats a bit. To add to all this, his aerial strokes come out quickly, 
have decent to great range, and with the exception of the backward and 
downward slashes, don’t have much recovery time. You can set up an opponent 
by using your Leg Slash (press A while dashing) or upward throw. For the 
latter, you may want to use your Up+A (strong) slash right afterwards to gain 
some more distance. After that it’s just a matter of taking to the air.

You’ll usually go at your opponent from the side or the bottom with your 
Aerial Swipe or Luna Slash as those two strokes are fast and good damagers. 
Use your long sword range to your advantage – few characters can outdistance 
you in the air – and attack early. Do be careful against powerful characters 
like Link, though; you don’t want to take too many risks with his nasty 
Down+A move. Even in these situations you can still juggle from the side (the 
converse is also true against those who have powerful side aerial attacks) 
and use your speed to your advantage. You don’t have to jump very high – just 
enough to hit with the very edge of your stroke – and you can then follow up 
with another jump&juggle, or come back down and set up again.

If you are in trouble because your opponent has recovered faster than 
expected and you are getting pressured, quickly air-dodge or perform some 
other evasive manoeuvre. Juggling is useful, but that doesn’t mean you have 
to be too hasty and end up getting whacked. You have a speed and range 
advantage, and your priority is usually good, but against powerful opponents 
you never know. Still, if you know what you’re doing you’ll be okay in most 
situations.

Go for the sweet hit on your aerial moves to gain extra power and damage (and 
give yourself just enough distance to prevent getting hit by your opponent 
while still giving yourself an opportunity to follow up) and watch the damage 
go right up. If you’re good, you can finish a juggle near the edge by 
approaching your opponent from the side and using your Down+A spike on them 
(see Basic Moves as well as ‘Spiking’ part of this section). Juggling really 
adds to Marth’s game in terms of versatility – few can reign on the ground 
and in the air.

(Thanks to Cous1000 for reminding me of Marth’s juggling abilities and 
suggesting most of the info in this juggling description.)

EDGE GUARD!! If you’ve sent someone flying off the edge of the stage, don’t 
just stop and sit back; edge guard! Go up near the edge of the stage and 
charge up either your Dragon Slayer or Shield Breaker, and then when your 
opponent comes back on, WHAM!

Of course, it’s not always that easy; sometimes your opponent will try and 
come back low, in which case your down+A smash/strong sword moves might work. 
Other times, opponents will try and attack you directly. In these cases, try 
and hit through the attack if possible, but if you foresee a high-priority 
recovery move coming – for example, Samus’s Screw Attack or Link’s Sword Spin 
– then just sit back and try to hit your opponent as he/she lands on the 
stage.

Or, you can Counter attacks. This may not work for all attacks since multiple 
hits will sometimes smother your Counter, but for most recovery moves (except 
ones that act as grabs, for example Ganondorf’s and Captain Falcon’s) your 
Counter will work. Handy for frustrating opponents, and you can maybe follow 
up with a quick Dragon Slayer if they’re in range. Another alternative is to 
grab opponents out of their Up+B moves.

The craftiest of opponents will try and hang onto the ledge {just a quick 
note – when talking about the very side of the stage, I use ledge and edge 
interchangeably}, or air-dodge past you. In these cases, it’s tough to get 
off a successful edge guard, even more so with Marth’s lack of projectiles. 
If an opponent is coming in low, and looks to be trying to grab the ledge, 
back off and wait for the opponent to get back on. You probably won’t be able 
to edge guard anyone who grabs for the ledge since they’ll be too low to hit 
with your attacks. Once opponents grab on to the ledge, they’ll have a 
variety of recovery options available, and you probably don’t want to go in 
too close. If you back away, you can deal with the opponent after he/she gets 
back on to the stage (hey, ya gotta make concessions sometimes!), or you can 
try and hit him/her out of a mistimed air dodge. If you just stay too close, 
you’ll just get foiled. Whatever you do in these situations, it won’t be 
easy, which is why another tactic can come in handy...

...SPIKING!! If you don’t think you can edge guard opponents due to the 
strength of their recovery move or their agility/tactics, then try and jump 
out after them and hit them with a spike move, which will send them hurtling 
downwards in the air and may result in an easy KO.

Marth’s not a great spiker, because of his limited jumping capabilities. You 
have to get yourself into a good position, execute the spike, and then get 
back on the stage all in just two jumps, a few quick Fwd+B swipes, and your 
Dolphin Slash. To make sure that you have enough to make it back on, you can 
only use one jump in getting out to your position; save everything else for 
getting back (remember, your spike move will result in you gobbling up air 
time, which is why it’s harder to get back). If you’re good, you can jump 
outwards, then start jumping backwards (without turning around – go easy on 
the controller stick) and spike while jumping back towards the stage.

Sometimes you will end up messing yourself up because you’ll hit Down (for 
the Down+A controller input) too hard in the air and Marth will start falling 
downwards at a faster pace (thus making it more likely that you’ll fall to 
your doom when spiking off the stage). To prevent this from happening, either 
be careful and tilt the control stick gently (don’t leave the tilting to the 
last second or it will become a quick tap), or use the c-stick (not the 
standard Control Stick, the yellow one on the right side of your controller).

Pressing a direction on the C-stick will make Marth do an aerial attack in 
that direction, but his movement will not otherwise be affected; so if you 
tap Up on the C-stick you’ll do an Up+A attack without the extra jump that 
may occur. Of course, the C-stick also lets you do quick smashes on the 
ground, but it’s better simply to get used to tapping the Control Stick and 
the A-button very quickly – it’s harder, but it allows you to not take your 
right hand off the A/B buttons.

By the way: In those situations where you just HAVE to have the fastest smash 
possible (i.e. without the flashing charge-up animation that can delay 
things), and you aren’t confident that you can do this the ‘regular’ way, you 
can use the c-stick as a useful alternative. For example, if you’ve just 
thrown someone backwards and you want to do a quick forward smash in the 
opposite direction to follow up your throw, yank that c-stick! Otherwise, try 
to use it sparingly and get used to doing smashes the normal way.

Back to spiking. In the process of spiking, getting into position and getting 
back is tough, but it’s only half the deal! The actual spiking part is even 
tougher. Marth has only two spikes (that I know of) – his Down+A aerial move, 
and the downward stroke of the third hit of the Dancing Blade. The latter is 
pretty much useless in the air because it takes too long and ends up in you 
suiciding, but if you do it from the stage, close to the edge, it can work. 
Marth’s sword juts out for a fairly long while during the move, and if you 
get enough reach to hit someone who’s off the edge of the stage (or very 
close to the edge) then you may be able to get a spike.

Marth’s Down+A move is much more useful and can be used off the stage or near 
the edge – you can send others flying away from you, not only downwards, 
which increases its usefulness. The more damage your opponents have, the more 
effective your spike will be; a fresh opponent will be able to quickly 
recover, but someone who’s bruised and battered will likely be sent too far 
down to recover. You might think that spiking is useless since it’s only a 
more-or-less-guaranteed kill with high-damage opponents, but that’s not the 
case – weak jumpers and/or unsuspecting opponents will have trouble 
recovering no matter their damage.

Be careful when spiking – opponents do have recovery moves, and since your 
jumping isn’t great, you might get caught up in the mix yourself. Don’t go to 
spike an opponent who has a powerful upwards-aerial move because you’ll get 
smacked. Don’t get too excited when spiking – it’s useful, but Marth isn’t a 
born-and-bred spiker, and you can win through other avenues. Use spikes 
wisely and always make sure you have enough fuel to get back on.

COUNTERING EDGE GUARDS/SPIKES – to stop opponents from edge guarding you, 
just stay below the level of the stage and Dolphin Slash your way up the side 
of the stage, onto the ledge. Now you’re fairly safe, since you have some 
immunity when clambering back on to the stage after hanging from the edge. 
This tactic also protects against spiking, since you’re too low for most 
opponents to reach without placing themselves in danger of suiciding.

A quick aerial swipe will also hinder eager spikers; your Dancing Blade’s 
first hit doesn’t have much range, but it’s decent and doesn’t hinder your 
jumping, which is very nice. You can also use your Aerial Swipe (forward+A 
aerial) to stave off opponents and then follow up immediately with the 
Dolphin Slash to surprise them further.

If you HAVE been spiked, don’t despair: you can actually recover fairly 
quickly from most spikes by quickly pressing Up+B to do your recovery attack. 
This will let you Dolphin Slash soon after being spiked, and you should be 
able to make it back onto the stage given the Dolphin Slash’s nice vertical 
boost.

If you need still more vertical power, you can try violently tapping Up on 
the control stick to jump, and then use your Up+B. Don’t press X or Y to jump 
as, for some reason, those buttons usually require more precise timing. 
Whatever you press, spike-recovering works only after you’ve flown through 
the air for a distance (the higher your damage, and of course the better the 
spike, the longer it takes to recover). Some spikes like Falco’s are almost 
if not entirely impossible to recover from especially at high damage.

Whenever you’re successful in spike-recovering, there’ll be a *whoosh* sound 
and your character will sparkle. Thanks to RyokoYaksa for this nice (if 
complicated!) information.

EDGE CLINGING – WHAT YOU CAN DO... Here’s a more detailed assessment of the 
edge-comeback moves that I was talking about earlier. All these comeback 
moves are very useful, as they protect you (in some cases you’re invincible 
during parts of the move, which ensures that you’ll get back on without being 
hit) and drive opponents away. Seeing how useful these moves are, you should 
*always* try for the ledge when jumping back on (unless no one’s within a 
mile of you, which will be rare). When coming back, simply let yourself drop 
a little, then Dolphin Slash vertically onto the edge.

Done correctly, opponents can’t edge guard you, and will have a hard time 
spiking you. The only negative about edge recovering is that your edge-
recovery moves become less effective if you have over 100% damage – your 
moves get slower and clumsier. They still protect you well, but opponents 
aren’t as easily surprised, so be careful.

Here are all the moves that you can perform while you’re hanging onto the 
edge of the stage:

- Quick sword slash (press A/B button) – a nice slash executed while 
  clambering back onto the stage, which covers your front half

- Slow overhead swipe (A/B with >100% damage) – a move similar to your 
  Dragon Slayer only much more restrained. There’s a wide, 180-degree arc 
  that will protect your front and top, but the range is mediocre. Marth  
  stutter-steps at the start, which slows down the move and may result in 
  Marth going past very close opponents, which can be bad.

- Jump (press X/Y) – a quick, high jump that usually gets you over the head 
  of anyone who’s trying to edge guard you. Marth lands nimbly on his feet. 
  If you have more than 100% damage, Marth will be a tiny bit slower with the 
  setup to his jump, but there’s very little difference.

- Quick clamber up (press Forward (towards the stage) on control stick) -  
  Marth quickly hoists himself back onto the stage. You’re invincible during  
  the first part of the move, which prevents you from being attacked while 
  you clamber up. If you have more than 100% damage, you rather clumsily and 
  slowly get back on to the stage. You’re still somewhat protected by 
  invincibility, but your opponent does get a bit more time to prepare.

- Roll (press Forward on c-stick) – Marth rolls/somersaults his way back onto 
  the stage. He actually gets fair distance this way and is invincible during 
  his roll, so it can definitely get past edge-guarding opponents, as long as 
  you don’t become predictable. If you have more than 100% damage, Marth’s 
  roll becomes a bit more halting and slower – you are still invincible 
  through most of it, but your opponent will probably be able to turn around 
  and try and hit you.

- Drop (press Backwards/Down (away from the stage) on control stick) – Marth 
  drops down from the ledge. After dropping down, you can still jump once and 
  use your Up+B move, which is nice and useful. You can surprise opponents 
  this way, and give yourself another chance to get back onto the stage or 
  grab the edge again. Do this if you have no other choice (e.g. your 
  opponent is about to jump out and hit you while you cling to the edge, or 
  something) or if you want a change of pace.

You are invincible for the first second or so after you’ve clung onto the 
ledge – hence you have ample time to choose what path you’ll take in getting 
back onto the stage. Even if you take too long, it’s usually okay, because 
it’s hard for opponents to hit you while you’re hanging on to the edge. 
Beware of someone with a good, ground-hugging Down+A move or some sort of 
spike that can be used on the stage (e.g. I think a fellow Marth who’s good 
at positioning moves can do his Dancing Blade spike on you).

If someone tries to jump out and spike, you can quickly recover back onto the 
stage (don’t press X/Y to jump back on, because you might get hit by your 
opponent. Just hoist yourself quickly back onto the stage, by pressing 
forward on the control stick) and your opponent might end up suiciding. At 
the very least, you’ll be in a better, more commanding position.

Don’t spend too long hanging on to the ledge; if you’re not hit, you’ll still 
naturally lose your grip after a while, same as if you’d pressed Down on the 
control stick to drop off.

WAVE DASHING – If you want to be a genuinely good player, you’ll have to not 
only master the usual techniques (like dodging and L/R-recovering), but also 
get used to a few fancier techniques. These techniques aren’t easy to 
perform, but they can be useful as changes of pace. Learn them if at all 
possible.

Shadow Spectre explains:

“Have you ever heard about wave dashing or dash dancing? Both are useful 
techniques that are advanced but great for people who are very skilled and/or 
participate in tournaments. Wave dashing is actually the thing that is 
difficult; anyone can dash dance. Dash dancing is when you quickly press back 
and forth. You shouldn't move forward, but you should be going back and 
forth. You can confuse opponents with this and you can do anything but 
neutral b out of it.

“Wave dashing is hard and very advanced. This is when you are pointing 
diagonally down (either direction) but not moving. Then you jump and 
immediately press L or R. You should slide across the ground and be pale as 
if you were recovering or free falling or rolling. You might see a shield 
quickly go on and off in the middle of it. You can wave dash out of a wave 
dash so you can dash as far as you like. You can wave dash out of the air by 
pressing diagonally down and pressing L or R right as you land. It is easier 
to do it forwards than backwards.

“But why is it useful, you ask? You can buffer attacks in it, you can grab in 
it, you can shield, jump, while sliding so it is easy to escape or attack or 
just confuse. Only characters that have bad traction can do this. Luigi and 
Marth are the best at it. Luigi is the master of it; he goes much farther 
than anybody else.”

I’ve recently started working on wave dashing, and it is quite useful as a 
way of gaining a rapid burst of speed without the cost of changing your 
fighter stance (it’s just like a little slide), and with VERY little start-up 
or recovery time.

By using the C-stick (the yellow one, not the main control stick) during a 
wave dash, you can execute moving smashes; as well, your sudden boost in 
speed at the beginning of a wave dash can be used to surprise opponents. You 
can maintain pretty good speed by continuous wave dashing – some characters 
actually wave dash faster than they run!

Wave dashing out of the air, especially backwards, is a great way to confuse 
opponents, and short quick wave dashes (point the control stick more 
downwards than forwards) serve to move you delicately in the desired 
direction, placing yourself in good stead for a hit (whereas dashing wouldn’t 
be precise enough, and walking to the position would be too slow). Also, by 
tapping in the opposite direction to what you’re facing during a wave dash, 
you can make Marth do a fancy little twirling wave dash – very confusing to 
opponents, and pretty to watch, too.

Due to the odd combination of movement and attacking potential, wave dashes 
can be used to bind together combos or sequences that otherwise would be 
impossible.

One more trick: a good thing to try is wave dashing backwards from a standing 
start, confusing your opponent. More importantly, if you do this while you’re 
close to the stage’s edge, you can wave dash ‘off the stage’, at which point 
Marth will quickly grab back onto the edge of the stage. What’s the point? 
Well, if someone else is trying to come back onto the stage, they won’t be 
able to grab the edge since you’re hogging it – hence they very well may die. 
Wave dashing backwards is faster and safer than jumping off the stage and 
then grabbing the edge.

STAGE TIPS – always be alert. Know the stage and any unique properties. For 
example, you can Counter some of the stage hazards, like the projectiles from 
the Arwing (make sure there isn’t a second shot following it up, though, 
otherwise your Counter will be useless!) as well as the cars in Onett. You 
can screw up the cars and send them spinning, which is fun. Marth’s Counter 
never does more than 7% damage, but hey, it’s handy to have as an emergency 
shield – just make sure you time it right! You can also Counter items that 
are thrown at you or moving towards you; however, some items won’t be 
affected (for example, a red shell that’s homing towards you won’t stop). 
Most items will be affected though, and you’ll send them hurtling the other 
way.

Also, note the stage terrain: do not be above your opponent on a slope! Your 
attacks will likely miss your opponent (they’ll end above his/her head) and 
you’ll be in trouble if your opponent has a powerful overhead smash like 
Roy’s Fwd+A that will hit you full-on. However, if you’re in a position where 
you think you can execute the Dragon Slayer to JUST hit your opponent with 
the bottom edge/tip of your sword, then you can hit your opponent sweetly. 
This is rarely the case, and your Dragon Slayer is pretty much your only move 
that can be effective when you’re higher up, so you’ll usually be better off 
on level terrain.

Other stage tips:

   Great Bay – get your opponents on one of the side platforms (the lower 
   ones that float in the water). Hit an opponent inwards (e.g., if you’re 
   on the right platform, hit leftwards) while he/she is on the platform and 
   you’ll usually get an instant kill, since your opponent will get knocked 
   into the bottom of the main platform and then get spiked down.

   Hyrule Temple - you can spike opponents by hitting them into the  
   triangular structure at the left side of the ‘cave’ ceiling, or the 
   square-like structure on the right side – you know, those funny structures 
   that point downwards. Hit opponents into those and they’ll get knocked   
   down with lots of force, and depending on their damage percentage they 
   might get KO’d. Also, you can use other structures to your advantage: for 
   example, with the pillar that sticks up in the middle of the stage (the 
   entrance to the caves), you can hit right through it and land a sweet hit 
   on someone on the other side. You can also hit through most platforms and 
   use other stage properties (not just on Temple, of course) to your 
   advantage (you have pretty much the longest non-projectile reach). (Thanks 
   to Andrew Chen for pointing this out.)

   Also, on Temple and some other stages you can use wall-recovering and 
   wall-springing (see Basic Moves) to your advantage. In the caves area, you 
   can take shelter if you have high damage, as you will simply bounce around 
   when hit, even at 400%+ damage. Sometimes you’ll bounce too much, though, 
   and go in the wrong direction and die. To minimise the chances of this, 
   keep your finger on the L/R button and whenever you hit a wall, quickly 
   tap it to recover. You can survive for aeons by doing this and it’s 
   literally almost impossible to die if you recover properly the first time 
   you hit a wall. Handy.

   Yoshi’s Island – be careful around the middle of the stage. If someone 
   decides to hit the yellow blocks and they spin, you’ll fall. If you happen 
   to press shield at this time (either as a reflex action or because you’re 
   responding to something else) you’ll air-dodge and then fall to your 
   death. This is horribly annoying, and can happen on other arenas with 
   vertical gaps.

   Green Greens – note that your sword has enough reach (try the Shield 
   Breaker or especially, your Dragon Slayer) to hit a bomb block and blow 
   it up without damaging yourself. A nice, useful trick against CPUs or 
   humans; just be careful that you are indeed hitting with the TIP of your 
   blade (any further down, and you’ll likely be too close to the bomb 
   blocks, and BOOM!). This has to be one of the best things about having a 
   freakin’ long sword. You can also employ this trick with other explosives  
   – I’ve only tested with motion sensor mines, but I’m pretty sure anything 
   else including Bob-ombs can be hit in this fashion without damage to 
   yourself. Just be sure not to get over-enthusiastic, mmm-kay?

   Another good trick to employ on Green Greens is to hit an opponent so that 
   s/he bounces into the bottom of one of those blocks, because this will 
   result in your unlucky foe getting spiked downwards, with little chance of 
   recovery (especially if you stay nearby and make sure). The blocks can 
   also be lethal to players who for some reason get caught under them – 
   depending on their Up+B move, they may not be able to penetrate the blocks 
   and will die pathetically. Luckily for you, Marth’s great vertical reach 
   on his Dolphin Slash precludes you from suffering such a fate.

   Corneria – if you wanna frustrate opponents, you can jump onto the guns at 
   the bottom-left of the stage, and with Marth’s fairly good jumping ability 
   you can easily jump back on. Nice to annoy humans with, or occasionally to 
   make CPUs suicide with. Just get out of the area once the guns start to 
   sparkle, or you’ll get knocked to infinity and beyond.

   Big Blue – don’t air-dodge or do your Up+B move unless absolutely 
   necessary, because if you fall onto the track and have to recover, you’ll 
   get left behind. Also, if you’re hit by an opponent and land on your back, 
   you MUST insta-recover with L/R, or you’ll die because you spend too much 
   time on the track. Just a nice happy reminder.

ITEMS... use ‘em well! This can mean using them as bait or throwing them, as 
well as simply keeping them on hand. Know when to throw them and when to use 
them; make sure you utilise their full potential. For example, if you have a 
Proximity Mine, put it against a wall, some sort of critical place/platform, 
or on the actual side of an arena (right where someone’s comeback move would 
take them, not on the arena itself since they can just invincibly roll back 
on from the edge, but on the very plane of the arena) – it is virtually 
invisible in those spots, and will really piss off your poor opponents.

Remember that when holding an item, you can’t use any throws, as you will end 
up throwing away your item instead.

A little quirk about whacking items (the items which take the place of your 
normal neutral/forward-A attacks and with which you clobber opponents): Marth 
does a double hit when he smashes while holding one of these weapons. For 
example, if you have a beam sword, you’ll first do a quick slash with your 
regular blade, then swing back around for a powerful, long-range hit with the 
actual beam sword. Double hits are useful, since they’re fairly powerful and 
ranged. However, they do take longer than regular hits and tend to have less 
range on the initial hit, which means that they’re slightly easier to block 
or counter. If you don’t like double-hitting, you can just stick to neutral 
and strong attacks.

The home-run bat is a clobbering item and as such, Marth does a double-hit. 
The only thing is that Marth’s initial stroke doesn’t hit opponents; this is 
the only whacking item for which this applies, as far as I know. 
Incidentally, the home-run bat is the only whacking item that can’t be 
charged. You should therefore make sure that your timing is spot on before 
stepping to the plate.

WALL JUMPING – Some characters can wall-jump. These characters have the 
ability to jump, or spring, off a wall. To wall jump, a player has to jump 
towards a wall (it could be the side of a building, cave or some other 
structure), then tap the control stick in the opposite direction to spring 
away. If there’s another wall adjacent to the first, the character who’s wall 
jumping can spring off the second wall, back towards the first, then spring 
off the first wall again, and so on, just springing all the way up. 

Unfortunately, Marth can’t do this, but nimbler characters like Young Link, 
Fox, Sheik, and Mario (actually, he doesn’t seem that nimble to me...) can do 
it. Even some of the heavier characters like Samus can pull it off. Don’t get 
caught off guard if these guys and gals magically jump up between the gaps 
after you’ve spiked them! Be ready and try and spike them in the open. Do not 
toy around with them in narrow drops (for example, in the second Mushroom 
Kingdom level, the one with the waterfall), since they can wall-jump their 
way back from the abyss, whereas you’re limited to your Up+B.

RECOVERING - note that some Forward+B moves (not Marth’s, hence it wasn’t in 
the Basic Moves section) act as Up+B moves! What I mean is, after the 
character does his/her Forward+B, he/she won’t be able to jump or attack 
until hitting the ground, just as if he/she had executed an Up+B move. 
Characters to which this applies include Ganondorf/Captain Falcon, Zelda (but 
not Sheik - odd, since neither Fwd+B attack really helps much), Ice Climbers, 
Fox/Falco, and a few others. If it seems that a Fwd+B move gains lots of 
distance in the air, it probably acts as an Up+B. There are a few exceptions, 
though – Luigi can uppercut after his Green Missile, and Ganondorf/Captain 
Falcon can execute an aerial Down+B and then jump once and use their Up+B – 
they ALWAYS get to jump after an aerial Down+B, even if they’ve jumped twice 
already. Lucky bastards.

LONG THROWS – Yeah, those long throws of Link and Samus’s really piss me off 
as well. Don’t worry; the ‘Tricking Link’ tip that I had in the 1-P Quick 
Tips section works against humans as well as computers. In case your memory 
is crap and you can’t remember what I said (shame on you! Pay attention!), 
you can often trick Link or Samus players by going in close to them, drawing 
their throw, dodging/rolling through the throw, and then attacking. CPU Links 
tend to fall for this a lot, and so will human Links and Samuses. The latter 
aren’t so susceptible, because Samuses throw faster and with more range than 
their Hylian counterparts, but you can still trick them as long as you’re 
careful. Humans will learn after a little bit, though, so don’t waste any 
chances that you get at first, and then back off.


==============================
     10. Revision History
==============================

---Version 1.0 (24.10.09)---

Lots of little additions, revisions, cuts etc.
Please note: this guide is no longer being maintained or updated. This, the 
October 2009 update, is the final version. It’s been 7 years (how fitting) 
since the first version. I have added some of the reader comments that I’ve 
gotten in the past 7 years, but I have neglected the others. I apologise for 
that.

<<< PREVIOUS VERSIONS >>>
(Repealed by the <i>NO MORE UPDATES ACT 2009</i> (Vic)

=====================
     12. Credits
=====================

Thanks a lot to all the folks who sent in their input:

  Andrew Baer, for a nice and thorough Sheik strategy
  Andrew Chen, for a number of good tips and suggestions
  Augustine J Bono, for a translation of Marth’s taunt
  baseketballplayer, for great info on Marth’s grab and Counter
  Celsius, for some handy info on the Twin Slash’s capabilities 
  Cous1000, for lots of helpful tips and strategies
  dragon, for a pretty thorough history of Marth and Fire Emblem
  DiscoPuppy, for letting me use his Translation Guide info on Marth’s taunt
  DonBazooka, for handy information regarding crouching
  ElfenGodFather, for more information on Marth’s taunt
  Geno, for a nice strategy on using weak ground attacks
  Geno82, for tips on wall-saving/springing, Warp Stars and more
  Feather, for nice wave dashing information
  Fhyl Myst, for info on Marth’s smash attacks
  Howard and Nester, for tonnes of excellent info on moves and strategy
  InfiniDragon (and Nintendo Power), for the moves’ official names
  Jay Dominguez, for noting some unclear phrasing
  Jonathan Davis, for kindly proofreading this *entire* FAQ!
  J. C., for tips on Marth’s moves and the fan
  Nat, for an Edge Clinging addition
  RyokoYaksa, for some information on spike-recovering
  Shadow Spectre, for informing me of several good techniques
  Shadow2290, for mentioning the Dancing Blade’s recovery prowess
  sharc, for a couple of Tips & Tricks tidbits
  Sliq111, for a few tips on recovering and edge guarding
  snex, for a handy combo and throwing/wave dashing tips
  Spectre3000, for additional information regarding wall-jumpers
  The Devils Advocate, for some information on Marth’s taunt
  TooCoolBob, for an addition to the Dolphin Blade section

Thanks also to the folks of the Melee message board here at GameFAQs, as well 
as Smashboards (smashboards.com) and Nintendorks.

I took inspiration to write a character FAQ from such guides as PentaroX’s 
Fox (N64 SSB) and MMassey’s Falco.